Author Topic: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE  (Read 6537 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« on: December 27, 2008, 10:27:38 am »
BLACKFACE

My favorite, Mr. Reginald Hudlin asked me to contribute to his blog.  Wooo, that’s major.  At least for a young, blossoming, soon-to-be television & film executive like me.  Soooo, should I make my first contribution something funny?  Eh, how ‘bout we just keep it real!  Let’s talk about Blackface.  Yep that’s right; Blackface.  I know its damn near 2009 and half of ya’ll probably don’t even know what Blackface is…well I take that back.  If you are enlightened enough to be on hudlinentertainment.com, then you should be conscious of American Theatre’s 19th Century performance tradition of Blackface. 

Currently I am traveling overseas in New Zealand; Queenstown, New Zealand to be exact.  The land of 4 million people and 90 million sheep.  Sounds great right?!!  Keep reading.  So Halloween night I go out with some friends…white friends.  Oh, did I mention I am THE ONLY black person in this town?  No seriously, I haven’t even seen a black sheep!  So, Halloween night we all decide to go to a bar.  We’re chillin, drinking, and in walks Sambo.  I freeze.  So many things are running through my head at this point.  I have always been one of those black people that look at racial situations from the past (i.e. slavery, sit-ins, etc.) and say “Oh Hell No!  If that were me, I’d snatch that whip from that slave master and beat him!”  Or “Oh Hell No!  If that were me, I’d go right up to the white’s only lunch counter and sit my black ass down and order a wing on wheat!”  But here I am, in probably [hopefully] the most serious racial situation of my life and I freeze.  I don’t say a word.  I’m hurt.  I’m angry.  I’m embarrassed.  I’m disgusted.  This 6 foot tall white man walks into a bar with shoe polish all over his face, white paint under his eyes, and red paint exaggerating his mouth, looks me in my eye, and I say nothing.  I look around to the 10 or so white co-workers that I’m with and they are laughing.  One even has the audacity to say to me “Hey Tiffany, you see that?”  Of course “I see that”.  It’s slapping me in my face right now!  How is one supposed to handle a situation like this?  I wanted to go up to Blackface and ask him ‘why?’ or ‘who are you supposed to be?’  But I said nothing.  Because if he would have answered me the wrong way, with any tone of disrespect, God only knows how I would have reacted.  So I left the bar.

I left the bar to find 3 other men, at three separate locations all in Blackface.  Wow!  Is this a nightmare?  Are they serious?  I couldn’t believe it.  But I got payback.  I got payback on November 4, 2008 when the United States of America elected Barack Obama the Leader of the Free World.

PEACE~

T.Mills

Offline Lion

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Re: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2008, 11:41:09 am »
Admittedly, I know very little about what culture is like in Australia. Does putting on a blackface mean the same thing that it does in the United States? I know that they have issues with the Aborigines, but that doesn't mean they have the same understanding of the dynamics of how Black Americans fit in or have been persecuted in this country.

I think in the Netherlands, it has been traditional for hundreds of years for Santa Claus (or whatever he is called) to be accompanied by "Black Peter" who is charged with whooping the behinds of bad boys and girls.

I understand the reaction, but does it mean the same thing in Australia? I guess that is what I'm asking.

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2008, 10:15:33 pm »
This isn't BAMBOOZLED Mills, a good, old-fashioned, Bernie Mac style, who the !@#$ is this guy looking at like that would've been appropriate!

Offline karaszero

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Re: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2008, 03:48:59 pm »
I understand how you felt Mills, it reminded me of the time I was living in japan and passed by a shop and saw SAMBOS in the window for sale, then later I saw a Dragon Ball Z cartoon and discovered that Mr Kami is a sambo...a surreal WTF moment that was all the more unnerving because I was outside of Rapungi at the time and if you know anything about rapungi then you know that Hip Hop/African American culture has a strong presence there, it is not uncommon to see japanese males/females with dreads/braids/locks

Offline Cage

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Re: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2008, 08:41:19 am »
I think it does mean the same thing Lion.  The good thing about all of these experiences is that they remind you that as far as we have come as a people (we meaning the entire human race) we really haven't come that far. Cosmic Slop to me should be required world viewing.  I'm telling you!  If that proposition was floated January 23rd the first stop for the "ruling class" would be 1600.  The lesson for me is don't get comfortable.  Stay vigilant. It may suck that I will never ever be at peace, but at least I won't be duped.
I ventured into the courtyard followed by 52 brothers bruised battered and scarred but hard.

Offline Hypestyle

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Re: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2008, 10:14:14 am »
this year...at a local bar that was having a Halloween party, crowded place, people wearing wild outfits.. as I'm walking up some stairs, coming down inevitably there's some frat-boy type with heavy-brown makeup and wearing fake dreads.. I feel the blood rushing..
I gave him the ice-grill and kept it moving... I knew I'd get arrested if I started something..
so much ignorant stuff gets promoted under the premise of being "anti-PC", but i'm not trying to hear that..
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Offline Mastrmynd

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Re: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2008, 12:01:45 pm »
i can't even lie...
whenever i see the frat boys in stereotypical blackface and "urban" gear, i instantly get hot.
not cool.
not cool at all.


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Right on to the real and death to the fakers!  Peace out!

Offline Catch22

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Re: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2008, 01:02:02 pm »
You never get used to seeing stuff like that.  I was born and raised in Alabama and when I go back...at least a year ago...there are still some white folks with actual lawn jockeys on their lawns.  One time I was there, I went to a huge outdoor flea market with a few pals from college.  We were walking around and we came up on this booth with lawn jockeys and really blackfaced "Aunt Jemima" pre-perm, complete with red and white polka dot do-rag type cookie jars lined up.  Before I knew it, I had kicked the hell out of one of them and put it out of it's ceramic misery.  My boys had to keep me from going after the rest of them and suffice it to say, we had to hasten to an exit.  My blood was boiling at metal and ceramics, so I can only imagine what would happen if I saw that on a real person.

Offline Cage

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Re: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2008, 01:18:44 pm »
I was in New Hampshire for the fourth aboutt hree years ago and took a picture of a lawn jockey.  I'll post it if I can find it.
I ventured into the courtyard followed by 52 brothers bruised battered and scarred but hard.

Offline Sam Wilson

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Re: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2008, 06:44:03 pm »
the year before I got to UW wisconsin the white frats got in trouble for holding a mock slave auction in the quad.  They painted themselves in blackface and "sold" themselves and I guess it was funny.  This was 1993.  Brothers hated those motherf*ckers, and when I got there tension was still high. 

One night me and my hommies wanted to stir up some sh*t (I was 18) and we went to the greek hangout and proceeded to pick fights.  Literally.  I went up to motherf*ckers and poked them in the chest and was like, "I want to f*ck you up". True story.  No takers, they would just look at the floor and movie on.  Probably didn't hurt that I was with most of the D-line for the Badgers, and shock, all black.  Back then, I truely didn't give a f*ck and just wanted to hurt those who were always on us for sh*t that seemed out of our control.  That was a long time ago, but the anger is still there when I think about it.

Offline Magic Wand

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Re: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2008, 05:29:09 pm »
but does it mean the same thing in Australia? 

I reckon it means the same thing.  Prolly worse!
In Oz and NZ there are no negative repercussions for such monkey business vile behavior.  Other nations' civil rights laws are less developed and adhered to than those we enjoy in these United States.

I experienced blatant racism from two New Zealanders while working the Olympics in Beijing last summer.  It wasn't overt, but it was shocking nonetheless.  Both characters "caught" themselves before saying something offensive to me.   One NZ executive turned his back to me and asked a caucasion colleague of mine where I was from.  (He could have asked me directly as I was only a few paces away and he had just shook my hand and stammered a clearly uncomfortable, "Hello"!)  He continued to exhibit CLEARLY uncomfortable behavior around me.  (i.e., He had a reputation for being a real "warm fuzzy", talkative guy, but struggled to make small talk with me.
The other guy was even more uncomfortable.  Explosively so!  Fortunately, not directed to me.  I think had I been a Maori or Aborigini, both he would have kicked my ass, thrown me out the window, hit me with a bus and then had me arrested for assaulting his baby blue eyeballs with my Blackness.


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Offline Magic Wand

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Re: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2008, 05:36:19 pm »
...there are still some white folks with actual lawn jockeys on their lawns. 

Those jockeys still adorn many southern Illinois lawns too.


Back in my art dealing days, I discovered that many of those lil' dudes aren't antique at all.  One of my antique dealer friends confessed that ALL his Mammy ceramics and otherwise racially offensive stuff was shipped to him BY THE CONTAINER LOAD from China! 
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." --Aristotle, Greek philosopher

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Offline Magic Wand

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Re: HUDLIN'S HUDDLE - BLACKFACE
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2008, 05:39:37 pm »
the year before I got to UW wisconsin the white frats got in trouble for holding a mock slave auction in the quad.  They painted themselves in blackface and "sold" themselves and I guess it was funny. 
Not funny. 


One night me and my hommies wanted to stir up some sh*t (I was 18) and we went to the greek hangout and proceeded to pick fights.  Literally.  I went up to motherf*ckers and poked them in the chest and was like, "I want to f*ck you up".

Funny! ;D
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." --Aristotle, Greek philosopher

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