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A New Statesman essential non-fiction book of 2021
Featured in Book Riot's 12 best nonfiction books about Black identity and history
A Times Higher Education Book of the Week
2022 Finalist for the Prose Awards (Media and Cultural Studies category)
Why are there so many examples of public figures, entertainers, and normal, everyday people in blackface? And why aren't there as many examples of people of color in whiteface? This book explains what blackface is, why it occurred, and what its legacies are in the 21st century.
There is a filthy and vile thread -- sometimes it's tied into a noose -- that connects the first performances of Blackness on English stages, the birth of blackface minstrelsy, contemporary performances of Blackness, and anti-Black racism. Blackface examines that history and provides hope for a future with new performance paradigms.