Was Al Jolson a racist?
February 17, 2019 11:39am CST
Al Jolson don black face for some of his shows. Was he a racist ? Below more information I find this very interesting why he done this. give it a read - ------------------------------------------------------ Information on line.Photo on line "He needs this blackface to express a new Jewishness." Crafton agreed that "there was a propensity for these entertainers to be assimilated Jewish immigrants, perhaps because there was some kinship felt with marginalized African-Americans as neighbors in the melting pot.” That Jolson was so popular then, and because blackface in films was so common, "generally, at that time [it] would not have been considered out of the ordinary or offensive,” Crafton said. No one seemingly bothered to ask the country’s black population what they thought, he added. Lapadula contends that Jolson's rendition helped pave the way for African-American actors. Jolson was a civil rights advocate, often backing projects by black artists, including playwright Garland Anderson.
16 people like this
• United States
@TheHorse Far too many are and they are embarrassing themselves on a daily basis. They sure believed good old Jussie Smollett and went off half-cocked on that one as they did on the Covington Catholic students. That was idiotic. The silly ones are running for president and they have a ton of silly followers too.
• United States
Yes, blackface was common then. It was a different world, and we need to remember that instead of trying to impose 2019 values on 1929. One thing I read in doing research: "blackface" was a way that a lot of Black actors, singers, and dancers got to work in Vaudeville. As they were wearing the blackface, no one knew they were really black (except their fellow actors, who didn't object).
• Lake Charles, Louisiana
I can understand if Al used his star power to keep Blacks down instead of assisting them get into the show business. Blackface do not bother me that much if I were Black (I am a White Latino) compared to the use of the N word which is forbidden to be used in front my late parents.
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
It was a different world back then--minstrel shows were big--Jolson was in vaudeville for many years--it was all acceptable under the 'entertainment' label. It is sort of like Milton Berle doing drag--he wasn't anti gay--it was part of entertainment.