In the Media: Dwandalyn Reece ’85 Gives TED Talk on Origins of Blackface and Stereotypes

Close-up portrait of a Black woman leaning on her hand

Dwandalyn Reece ’85, associate director for curatorial affairs at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, gave a TED Talk on the origins of blackface and stereotypes about Black people. “The professional minstrel show left an indelible imprint on the American psyche,” Reece says. “The images and racial stereotypes that continue to circulate in American society on sheet music, magazines, books, vaudeville, theater, film, television, radio, records, and all kinds of formats. These stereotypes were a powerful reinforcement of the ideas of white supremacy and Black inferiority.”