Blackface refers to the cultural practice of covering the face of a white (or black) performer to create a caricature of a black person. Although usually associated with nineteenth-century minstrel shows, blackface can still be found today both in theatrical performances and sometimes also in Halloween costumes.
The debate about the racist implications of blackface continues today. In national news, the NBC “Today” host Megyn Kelly’s show was cancelled following her on-air remarks expressing acceptance of blackface. In local news, a registered nurse at St. Luke’s was fired after she posted pictures of herself and a friend on facebook in blackface.
UMKC Professor Matthew W. Osborn and UMKC Diversity Director Makini King were interviewed on 30 October 2018 for local television about the history, politics, and ethics of blackface. Their comments aired at 5 PM on KCTV5 and Fox4.