Even though blackface disappeared as law in the late 1920s, as late as the 1960s, black entertainers (such as Harry Belafonte and Sammy Davis, Jr.) still had to go in the back door of theatrical establishments, bars, etc.; by law!
They couldnt rent a hotel room in Las Vegas or Miami Beacheven while being the headline act.
Ben Vereens 1981 Presidential Inauguration performance for Ronald Reagan presented this countrys turn of the century Blackface/Jim Crow laws in a great story, about black comic genius Bert Williams (circa 1890 to 1920).
Vereen had been invited to perform for the Reagan Inauguration and had accepted only on the condition that he could tell the entire Blackface storybut the whole first half of Vereens show, depicting Bert Williams and blackface, was censored by Reagans people on ABC TV, contrary to the special agreement Vereen had with the Reagan people.
the authorized on-line version of Jack Herers The Emperor Wears No Clothes
|previous page||Chapter 13||next page|