Alison Kinney on blackface in opera

In the wake of the Met’s overdue announcement that they won’t be staging Verdi’s Otello in blackface, Alison Kinney on hyperallergic has an excellent run-down of the history of blackface in opera:

Opera’s blackface tradition spans two centuries, linking it with Bobby Deen, Al Jolson, minstrelsy—and the KKK, who, in their Reconstruction-era, pre-hood days, used to “black up” with burnt cork, then accuse Black people of having committed their own crimes.