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BLACKFACE…

    The Public Safety Commissioner of New Orleans wrote that, “marijuana was the most frightening and vicious drug ever to hit New Orleans,” and in 1910 warned that regular users might number as high as 200 in Storeyville alone.

    To the DA and Public Safety Commissioners and New Orleans newspapers from 1910 through the 1930s, marijuana’s insidious evil influence apparently manifested itself in making the “darkies” think they were as good as “white men.”

    In fact, marijuana was being blamed for the first refusals of black entertainers to wear blackface* and for hysterical laughter by “Negroes” under marijuana’s influence when told to cross a street or go to the back of the trolley, etc.

    * That’s right, your eyes have not deceived you. Because of a curious quirk in the “Jim Crow” (segregation; apartheid type) laws, black Americans were banned from any stage in the Deep South (and most other places in the North and West also). “Negroes” had to wear (through the 1920s) blackface—(like Al Jolson wore when he sang “Swanee”)—a dye which white entertainers wore to resemble or mimic black people. Actually, by “Jim Crow” law, blacks were not allowed on the stage at all, but because of their talent were allowed to sneak/enter through back doors, put on blackface, and pretend to be a white person playing the part of a black person.

The blackface team of McIntyre and Heath had audiences rolling in the aisles for decades. They repeated this feat in the musical, The Ham Tree.

German/Deutsche übersetzung

the authorized on-line version of Jack Herer’s “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”
text from “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” © Jack Herer
CD-ROM and web presentation © 0=2

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