Racial Cross-dressing

What is racial cross-dressing? 

Racial cross-dressing, also known as minstrelsy,  is when someone dresses up as another race using makeup to alter their appearance to mimic another ethnic group. The most common form of racial cross-dressing is known as blackface. Whiteface is another form of racial cross-dressing and it is the counter to blackface.

Racial cross-dressing can be offensive regardless of whether its white or black. After analyzing two films that use racial cross-dressing it becomes apparent that the latter is harder for American audiences to view or find humor in.

The film Watermelon Man uses whiteface and is well received by American audiences. Soul Man, on the other hand, uses blackface and audiences struggle to find the humor in the film intended to be a comedy.

Blackface                                                      Whiteface                                                                   Films

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