In preparation for the release of Alligator-Horses, BH Productions’ newest film about racism and folklore in 19th century America, it seems smart to stay in touch with contemporary discussions about Blackface minstrel performance, which is generally treated as an untouchable, taboo topic today. Alligator-Horses shows several contemporary white performers dancing and singing in Blackface, which many viewers, no doubt, will find difficult to stomach. Especially if they are not familiar with the difficult task of examining history through a contemporary lens.
That said, here’s a great article from Slate.com, which expresses some of the sentiments about history that will be helpful, perhaps, when viewing the more controversial aspects of this film.
“Yes, blackface comedy was racist and appalling, and people should never stop saying so. It is also a key to cracking the code of American culture.”
“This music, by contemporary standards, is offensive […]. Those interested in history, not “heroes,” will want—are compelled—to listen.”