Brown Face, Black Face, White Face, Greek Comedy Masks

Iraq Bruin

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
5,197
DC
Apparently he was costumed as Aladdin or some such.... Aladdin is currently presumed to be from the M/E (probably Baghdad or perhaps Aleppo) thanks mostly to Disney, and I would wager you did not feel insulted by his costume... However I've been reading up on the Aladdin tale and it seems originally ole Aladdin was from a city in China.... So now the chinese community can perhaps chime in and pretent to be offendeed
Although of course, Koreans, Japanese and Chinese dont seem to qualify for all this offending stuff

The Origin Story Of

Aladdin is one of the best known stories in Scheherazade's oeuvre — but it wasn't there originally. Aladdin, along with Ali Baba, is one of One Thousand and One Night's "orphan tales." They weren't a part of the initial Arabic text. Rather, they were added to a 1712 edition by the French translator Antoine Galland. Galland claimed he got the story from a Syrian man, Hanna Diyab.

Diyab's identity remained mysterious until 1993, when Diyab's memoirs were discovered in the Vatican library. According to cultural historian Arafat Razzaque, Diyab's rags-to-riches story actually may have resembled Aladdin's. Like Aladdin, Diyab wanted to own a market stall; like Aladdin, he longed to be a part of the upper echelons of society. And it happened for him. After meeting French explorer Paul Lucas, the young Diyab was pulled along on Lucas' quest for treasure (just like Aladdin was). Eventually, he ended up in France, where he met Galland and told him the "story of the lamp."

The original Aladdin is surprisingly different from the Disney version we know today. For one, it's set in China. "In early Arabic usage, China was often just a symbol for a faraway land, as in the famous saying attributed to the Prophet: 'Seek knowledge even as far as China.' It is in this sense of an abstract, exotic place that China tends to appear in the Nights," Razzaque wrote in an article for Ajam Media Collection.

In early European adaptations of the story, Aladdin was depicted as being Chinese. Victorian illustrations gave Aladdin the long braided queue typical of the the Manchurian dynasty; British stage productions set the play in China. Disney, however, modeled its Aladdin from the movie The Thief of Baghdad (1940) and transplanted the story to a fictional Middle Eastern city.
It is funny that you mention the movie, I found it interesting that the Hollywood crowd talks about cultural appropriation/respect when they mix North African, Egyptian, Lavantine, Iraqi, and Persian into one look alike brown people (which a lot of us are not really but that is a much different story, do not tell a particular Michigan congress-woman about it though). The name alaa-aldin does not show up in Arabic names and literature, do not quote me on this but I always have noticed that people of non-Arabic descent used that (aldin) in the end of their name during the early days/centuries of Islam.

I am not even sure why they use "Arabian" nights in the title.

I am thinking the above excerpt (about Galland ) you mention involves the stories about sinbad (Sindhi-Abad) as well.
 

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
3,956
USA
So "black face" (and all its variations) has now become a big thing

Ironically canadian premier Trudeau (seen below at a costume party some 20 years ago), has been caught in it despite his holier than thou attitude and has had to apologize .. This means no one is safe from this kind of criticism... which is turning into a new sort of inquisition

Canada's Trudeau admits to racist 'brownface' makeup

In France, an antique greek play at the Sorbonne was stopped by protesters because the actors were wearing greek comedy masks which allegedly were reminiscent of "black face"

Greek tragedy prompts 'blackface' racism row at Sorbonne





At the same time other traditions such as the one below are not criticised




Has anti racism been irretrievably coopted by intolerance and ironically racism ? Is the new philosophy, that 'whiteness' is some kind of original sin that must be atoned ?

Whether one likes Trudeau or not, suspecting him of racism is akin to suspecting the pope of not being catholic... How has an attempt to "look the part" -even if awkward- in a costume party come to be nowadays lambasted as racism ?
What the governments of the world and various NGOs think it’s not what the common man thinks my friend Tomar.

In fact to try and prop up some kind of view that black people are not criticized for anything bad whatever it may be when white people are criticized is bigoted in and of itself and those kind of views are what the misguided folk worldwide want good people like you Tomar to believe in.

Try going outside ones home if one is feeling that white people are discriminated against or black people are discriminate against all one has Got to do is just leave there home and explore the world. If people in our world think that whites are being discriminated against or blacks are being discriminated against that’s their own fault they need to change their views because that’s not the case at least for the most part. Sure bigotry happens but the notion that white people in America cannot do certain things while black people can do certain things is not true it’s a false notion that simply exists in peoples minds

It’s the same when it comes to discussing women , Muslims , Jews or any kind of minorities in Christian European or American countries. Some folks Believe what they want to believe instead of looking at what is really happening on the ground which is that the common man in the world is not a bigot or some kind a racist.
 

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
3,956
USA
Kevin Hart a black comedian in the USA was forced off of hosting the Oscars, because of a tweet Hart made a few years ago that some said was anti gay. Tomar, did you know that?

Some of The media ran with it but the common American and the common non American are going to have a different take on how to handle issues wrt Hart, or someone like the PM of Canada putting on brown face 20 years ago. Just because a story about Kevin Hart or the PM of Canada is reported in the media or on radio does not mean everyone will agree with it. You get the sense from traveling that most folks want a good life, good job and good relations and they have had it with those liberal or conservative radio and tv hosts playing the game of division. Because both sides can get it wrong at times.
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,161
Kansas
Kevin Hart a black comedian in the USA was forced off of hosting the Oscars, because of a tweet Hart made a few years ago that some said was anti gay. Tomar, did you know that?

Some of The media ran with it but the common American and the common non American are going to have a different take on how to handle issues wrt Hart, or someone like the PM of Canada putting on brown face 20 years ago. Just because a story about Kevin Hart or the PM of Canada is reported in the media or on radio does not mean everyone will agree with it. You get the sense from traveling that most folks want a good life, good job and good relations and they have had it with those liberal or conservative radio and tv hosts playing the game of division. Because both sides can get it wrong at times.
My niece gets outraged on a regular basis. If there was a stereotypical internet warrior, she is it. The thing I notice the most with this type of person. They are long on outrage, very short on solutions.
 

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
3,956
USA
My niece gets outraged on a regular basis. If there was a stereotypical internet warrior, she is it. The thing I notice the most with this type of person. They are long on outrage, very short on solutions.
I hear that. I look at society today and I think the greatest issue is jobs, the middle class has been shot. We have lost millions of steel and auto jobs in the USA , but getting in the way of solutions to real issues are various distractions.

I also feel that some of the folk that are vehemently upset with the likes of Hart or the PM of Canada have perhaps too much time on there hand. Maybe if they had good work(not talking about your niece she could be an exception) and were working a good middle class job like we used to have in abundance in the USA(can say Canada and Europe as well) then those folks would not be saying what they say.
 
Jan 2019
173
Finland
Well, there's always the 'punching up vs 'punching down' -context to these, Eddie Murphy or Dave Chapelle doing white-face as a comedic skit is punching up, while ye olden times minstrel act is almost certainly punching down. But then there's nowadays a problem where there's no contextualisation, but immediate condemnation. Didn't a news anchor get fired from the NBC a while back for suggesting that a white kid should be able to dress up as an African American artist they idolize?
 

GogLais

Ad Honorem
Sep 2013
5,489
Wirral
I thought (well I think I’ve read it somewhere) that the problem with blacking up as perceived by some is as follows. In most of the Western world black people are disadvantaged and discriminated against. I know that’s changing and the extent of the discrimination varies from place to place and between individuals but it’s still true as a generalisation. So when white people black up they’re taking up a persona that they wouldn’t really want to be and that they can discard with the wipe of their face. It would be a bit like rich people pretending to be poor people.
I’m not defending that point of view in every instance where people are criticised but I can understand the argument.
 

Iraq Bruin

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
5,197
DC
I thought (well I think I’ve read it somewhere) that the problem with blacking up as perceived by some is as follows. In most of the Western world black people are disadvantaged and discriminated against. I know that’s changing and the extent of the discrimination varies from place to place and between individuals but it’s still true as a generalisation. So when white people black up they’re taking up a persona that they wouldn’t really want to be and that they can discard with the wipe of their face. It would be a bit like rich people pretending to be poor people.
I’m not defending that point of view in every instance where people are criticised but I can understand the argument.
The context I heard is that the black face makeup has a history of mocking black people.