I talked about how actors used make up to paint their skin brown or yellow because black and Asian actors were not allowed to play those roles. Her expression of shock said it all. She understood. It felt wrong and unfair to her. Because her dad used to be an actor, it was easy to make blackface relatable. She did not like the idea of her father would be denied roles sole because of his skin color.
We only touched the surface of blackface and yellowface, but I’m glad that I didn’t shy away from it. As we read, I asked if she understood the terms and we talked about it.
I loved the overall message of the Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story. Anna May’s father taught her to always be proud of her race and culture.
Just like I’m trying to do with my kids.
Have you ever talked to your children about blackface or yellowface?
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