What’s new in South America? Blackface is okay in Peru

Peruvian media have revived the debate regarding Negro Mama, a popular character of the prime time TV show El Especial del Humor. The show, aired on one of the country’s main TV channels, Frecuencia Latina, features actor Jose Benavides in blackface, wearing a prosthetic nose and lips as well as black, hairy gloves on his hands. His motto is “I might be a blacky, but I have my little brain” (Podré ser negrito, pero tengo mi cerebrito). To get a sense of his “humor,” see here and here for sketches of the Negro Mama. Despite its popularity, Negro Mama has been highly criticized by Afro-Peruvian organizations. They’ve played a key role in campaigns against Afro-stereotypes. Continue reading