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Blackface Montage From Spike Lee’s Bamboozled

Bamboozled (2000) is a satirical film written and directed by Spike Lee. The film centers on a modern minstrel show with black actors in blackface who become an accidental success. The montage featured here is of historical film and television examples of white characters in blackface, alongside African American actors in stereotypical and racist roles. Numerous live action and cartoon depictions are featured, pointing to the prevalence of this type of extreme racism in past film and television culture.


In showing this part of history to a modern audience, what do you think Spike Lee’s goal is? How does blackface relate to modern culture?

Consider the stereotyping and racism in the various clips shown in the montage. Do any of these practices occur in current films and television shows?

Consider the African American actors who played these stereotypical roles. What do you think were the factors that went into them appearing in these films? Do you think they were satisfied with these roles, or would they have preferred to take on other characters in film?

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