If you're offended by this photo, please read my last post, A Case of Race. I wanted to put this photo in context so I posted a story about my parents and the lengths to which they went to fight racism. Though black face was losing it's popularity mid-century due to the civil rights movement, it was still showing up in mainstream America in 1960. I searched online for photos of black face during that time and found several, including a Cub Scout group in black face.
I remember finding these photos many years ago and asking my parents what they were thinking. My father was upset that I insinuated it had anything to do with race. My mother said it was a different time then, it was just a costume, and it was no big deal. Granted, growing up in the 60's was totally different than it is now – it was not uncommon to see black jockeys on neighborhood lawns. I can also be certain that my parents would not have thought this was a good costume choice for Halloween, 2011. Knowing them as I did, and knowing where their hearts were then, and where their hearts continued to be until their death, I can't condemn their choice of costume here, nor can I pretend the photo doesn't exist.
If there's one thing I've learned by writing this blog: you can't rewrite history.