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Angel Blue Will Not Attend Her Debut

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

By: Reese Yan

On Thursday, Angel Blue announced that she will not attend her debut in Verdi’s La Traviata at Arena di Verona in Italy after finding out the summer festival featured performers in blackface. It all started when the Russian soprano Anna Netrebko posted herself on social media with blackface. In response, Blue, who is Black, posted on Instagram saying she will not associate herself with an institution that supports blackface, which is racist and offensive to Black people. Angel blue said, “Let me be perfectly clear: the use of blackface under any circumstances, artistic or otherwise, is a deeply misguided practice based on archaic theatrical traditions which have no place in modern society.” She also added, “It is offensive, humiliating, and outright racist. Full stop.”

Blackface is rooted in racism and prejudice; many find it offensive for many reasons.

Firstly, Black people have been the subject of hate in the past, so why would we continue to perpetuate this racist act? For instance, in the past, there was slavery. Also, before the Civil Rights Act, Black people got mistreated a lot too.

Secondly, the organization was shut down for doing blackface but reopened by Anna Netrebko because of her influence. Since Netrebko is very famous, the picture she posted will spread, resulting in people copying her. For instance, when she posted herself in dark makeup in order to play the Ethiopian princess, people immediately started copying her just like the performers in the summer festival did.

Lastly, in the mid-19th century, people used to do blackface comedy shows for White citizens. White people would put on dark makeup and put on tattered clothing to look stereotypically “Black.” Then, they mimicked enslaved Africans on Southern plantations, depicting Black people as lazy, ignorant, cowardly, or hypersexual. The performances were intended to be funny to white audiences. But to the Black community, it was harmful and demeaning.

Therefore, blackface is very harmful to Black citizens and should’ve stopped a long time ago. So hopefully, society doesn’t continue to perpetuate blackface.

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