The Blackface Fashion Trend Is Designer Brands Using Racist Imagery To Call Black People “Niggers”

It’s evident that the influence of hip-hop culture is impactful worldwide. As a result, the ‘N’ word has become more and more common in everyday language for all people. In some instances, if an African-American befriends someone from another race, that person might slip up and occasionally say the word “nigga.”

For the most part, Blacks understand that, and from there they’d determine how they deal with that individual. Some Blacks even let some people of other races use it when they’re among each other, as long as it’s not in a derogatory way. Even still they know to not add the “er” to it.

Moncler, Prada, and Gucci crossed the line. The brand’s blackface fashion designs have blatant vividly added the “er” to the ‘N’ word taking from “nigga” to “nigger.”

Gucci is the latest popular and expensive brand to go under flames for the release of its blackface sweaters.

This came only two months after Prada took the same heat for its blackface monkey key chain “Pradamalia.”

Three years before that, Moncler launched its new collaboration with art collective Friends With You, which includes jackets and bags featuring images resembling the blackface.

All brands denied using the expression of extreme racist imagery, but like the clothes, I’m not buying it. The blackface trend shows a consistent pattern of these designer brands expressing white supremacy and a direct insult on Black people in the most demeaning way possible. Gucci and Prada should’ve learned from Moncler. If these brands don’t know its history, I’m pretty sure fashion brands have fashion sense. Moncler’s fashion mistake should’ve taught the entire fashion industry how sensitive the blackface is to African-Americans.

When you think about what the blackface represents historically, it is how white people call Black people “niggers” in a visual form, literally.

In an interview with Connecting Points, the Associate Professor of History at Smith College in Northampton, Mass, Elizabeth Pryor, said the blackface started in newspapers in the late 1700s. She calls it “literary blackface.” This type of blackface would be a frustrated white person writing fake letters to editors. They would write in an ignorant dialect, use poor grammar, and come off as a very foolish Black person.

As literary minstrel grew, it later became a stage performance and evolved to “minstrel shows.” The National Museum of African-American History and Culture noted, in the 1830s, poor and low-class white people painted their faces black (most used burnt cork or shoe polish) and made a mockery of Black culture to express their frustration of not being accepted by the white norm. Because they were social and political rejects, they felt oppressed. To cope with that feeling, they mimicked enslaved Blacks from Southern plantations. They made fun of the way they looked, spoke, danced and anything else they could dehumanize.

These performances stereotyped Blacks as lazy, ignorant, superstitious, hypersexual, dangerous and cowardly. In 1830, Thomas Dartmouth Rice, known as the “Father of Minstrelsy,” created the first well-known blackface character, “Jim Crow.” This character is where the law stemmed from. Jim Crow wore raggedy, torn up clothes acted like a buffoon and spoke with an exaggerated and distorted imitation of African American Vernacular English.

By 1845, the popularity of the minstrel had flourished in entertainment subindustry. During stage plays when it was time to change the set, they would do minstrel shows to entertain the audience. They did more than paint their faces black. They had music, music, makeup, costumes, as well.

Ministrel performance became even bigger. To white society, it was cool to imitate Black people. Blackface went from a sub performance to being full shows across the stage, radio and television airwaves, and into theaters.

The message of the blackface is the same message as the word “nigger,” no matter what you do, you’ll always be a “nigger.”

Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z made the ideology of white people from back then clear as day on his 4:44 album. On the song “Story Of O.J,” he rapped, Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga, still nigga, still nigga.” Hov took it a step further did his entire video in blackface characters. He took a lot of heat, but he enlighten us on how white people felt about Blacks.

That’s what the blackface fashion trend represents. No matter how much Gucci, Prada or Moncler you buy, to them you’re still just a “nigger.”

Like I stated earlier, all the brands issued out apology statements, but what makes me question them is the blackface character “Zip Coon.”

Professor Pryor also said in the interview Zip Coon “was what they would call a city slicker and represented how dangerous black freedom could be.”

The Zip Coon represented how white people viewed Blacks in the north since some were free as early as 1827. His character had no ambition. The only thing he desired was music, dress in what he thought was high fashion, and be a lover of usually more than one Black woman.

What makes this behavior from white people so disgusting is that these characters were all developed during the lowest time of Africa-American history. In the 1820s and 30s, Blacks were enslaved and looked at less of a human being. They were treated like scums of the earth, and that’s what entertained white people.  Now over almost 200 years later, history is beginning to repeat itself. Instead of moving forward, were moving backwards. As Pryor said, blackface is an “assault on Black freedom.”

She continued, “It’s a direct attack on equal rights. It continues much like the use of the ‘N’ word and these other anti-black symbols.” Pryor agrees with my point of fashion brands using racist imagery to call black people “niggers.”

That’s why I’m not buying them, and I’m not the only one. Oscar-nominated director Spike Lee and multiplatinum rapper T.I are both boycotting the brands.

Both artists took it to Instagram to share their thoughts.

Spike Lee declared, “I,Spike Lee Of Sound Mind And Body Will No Longer Wear Prada Or Gucci Until They Hire Some Black Designers ” To Be In Da Room When It Happens.”

T.I did the same thing, stating that he’s a longtime customer and the brand “GOT US f*cked UP!!! APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED!!!! We ain’t going for this.“

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

@gucci As a 7 figure/yr customer & long time supporter of your brand I must say…Y’all GOT US fucked UP!!! APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED!!!! We ain’t going for this “oops my bad I didn’t mean to be racist and disrespectful towards your people” shit!!! Y’all knew wtf y’all was doin and WE AINT GOING FOR IT!!! We ALL GOTTA Stop buying,wearing,and supporting this piece of shit company And ALL PIECE OF SHIT COMPANIES UNTIL THEY LEARN TO RESPECT OUR DOLLARS & VALUE OUR BUSINESS!!!! Our culture RUNS THIS SHIT!!! We (People of color) spend $1.25 TRILLION/year (but are the least respected and the least included)and if we stop buying ANYTHING they MUST correct any and ALL of our concerns. That’s THE ONLY WAY we can get some RESPECT PUT ON OUR NAME!!!! I Don’t Give a Fuck if I gotta wear Target brand shit…. #FuckGucci

A post shared by TIP (@troubleman31) on

He followed up with another “Call To Action” post. He urged his 9.8 million followers not to support Gucci for three months if you own Gucci not to wear it, and to share the post.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

THIS IS THE AGENDA!!! If you go against the movement… It won’t go unnoticed. If you wit US….REPOST!!! #USorELSE✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽 #🖕🏽Gucci

A post shared by TIP (@troubleman31) on

 

Rapper and actor 50 Cent is burning his Gucci.


 

The roots of the ‘N’ word comes from the Latin “Niger,” which means black.

It wasn’t until white people enslaved African-Americans when they, white people, added an extra g to the word to make it “nigger,” which then made it derogatory and still the most offensive racial slur in the world.

No matter, Black people will forever used the ‘N’ word despite anyone’s opinion. Like Ice Cube said in his interview with Bill Maher when he checked him for calling himself a “house nigger” on live t.v., “That’s our word now, and they can’t have it back.”

Ice Cube to Bill Maher

Connecting Point interview with Professor Pryor

Minstrel Show from the 1830s

Never miss a story!

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best stories delivered to your inbox.