There was a time when donning blackface was a part of mainstream entertainment, accepted by a white-dominated culture. Jazz singer Al Jolson performed in blackface in his "Mammy" minstrel show back in 1927.
But cultural standards change — even if lots of folks fail to catch on.
The controversy swirling around Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and state Attorney General Mark Herring — who've both admitted to blacking up their faces when they were younger — are two cases in point.
But they're not exceptional. You'd think we should know by now how offensive blackface is, but it still shows up in modern-day pop culture. Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Krakowski, Billy Crystal and Robert Downey Jr. have all donned blackface — sometimes for laughs, sometimes to make a point about racism.
Michael Curry, former president of the Boston branch of the NAACP and a member of the National NAACP's Board of Directors.
This segment aired on February 11, 2019.