A cartoon about attitudes to blackface and to drag.
This cartoon is about changing attitudes to race and gender in popular culture.
The cartoon shows someone watching the tv programme The Black and White Minstrel Show in the UK in 1975, and someone else watching RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2020.
The cartoon draws attention to the jolly, pantomime portrayal of black men in the first show and of women in the second, and tries to make the point that while the cartoonish portrayal of black men by white men in blackface is now deemed unacceptable, the caricaturing by men dressed as over-sexualised female grotesques (similar to glamourised pantomime dames) is currently promoted in some parts of society as celebratory and ‘fun’.
The Black and White Minstrel Show was an extremely popular programme in the 1960s. I was a child at the time, and even I liked it, despite the fact that I was of an the age at which Top of the Pops was essential viewing. It was considered to be harmless family entertainment. The show was on the tv during a time of rapid social change, including a large increase in the black population of some parts of Britain, so by the mid 1970s the show was viewed in a different light and was finally discontinued because of its outdated attitudes.
RuPaul’s Drag Race is a contemporary (2020) manifestation of part of LGBTQ culture.
Drawn: 6th July 2020