The long, sordid history of Blackface

The long, sordid history of Blackface
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CNN’s John Avlon breaks down the history of blackface after a number of recent political controversies, but it’s not just Virginia politicians.

Prominent people in the worlds of politics and entertainment have gotten into hot water for wearing blackface long before Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and state Attorney General Mark Herring recently admitted to it.
Blackface dates back nearly 200 years, when white performers started darkening their faces with polish and cork to mock enslaved Africans in minstrel shows. These displays depicted black people as lazy, ignorant, cowardly or hypersexual. It was racist and offensive then and still is today.
Here’s a (growing) list of politicians and celebrities who’ve gotten in trouble over blackface. (Note: We’re not including regular people — and there have been plenty of those cases.)

Louisiana House of Representatives candidate Robbie Gattie dressed like Tiger Woods for a church event

South Carolina county council candidate Brant Tomlinson dressed like a Jamaican bobsledder for a Halloween party

Former Florida Secretary of State Mike Ertel, as a Hurricane Katrina victim at a Halloween party

Illinois state Senate candidate Hal Patton dressed up as a black football player

Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, who dressed up as his best friend

New York state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who dressed like a “black basketball player” for a Jewish holiday

Actor Ted Danson, while roasting then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg and repeatedly using the N-word

Actor C. Thomas Howell, in the 1986 film “Soul Man”

Actress and singer Julianne Hough dressed as the character Crazy Eyes from “Orange is the New Black”

Actor Billy Crystal, as the late Sammy Davis Jr. on “Saturday Night Live” and at the 2012 Oscars

Jimmy Kimmel, dressed as Karl Malone on “The Man Show”

Jimmy Fallon, as Chris Rock on “Saturday Night Live”

Paula Deen and her son, dressed as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo from “I Love Lucy”

Robert Downey Jr., in the movie “Tropic Thunder”

Gene Wilder, in shoe polish in “Silver Streak”

Talk show host Megyn Kelly, who asked on her show “what is racist” about blackface

Drake, who was revealed to have posed in blackface when Pusha T used the photo as cover art for his single

Spanish soccer player Andrés Iniesta, who tweeted a picture of himself posing with two people in blackface

French soccer player Antoine Griezmann, who wore blackface as part of a costume for a 1980s themed party

Joni Mitchell, who appeared in blackface on the cover of her 1977 album “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter”

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