Ñooo Que Barato! Advert Depicts Blackface, Proprietor Would not Suppose It’s Racist

Hialeah division retailer Ñooo! Que Barato! is thought for stocking each staple a Cuban American (or a Cuban) might probably search — from guayaberas to high school uniforms to pins for material diapers to handy packaging for transporting items throughout the Florida Straits to the island.

But a brand new addition to the favored low cost outlet’s promoting arsenal is elevating native eyebrows. 

On a latest night time, a van with a tv display parked on Okeechobee Road beside the shop may very well be seen airing a business selling the shop’s line of all-white clothes aimed toward Santería practitioners. The advert depicts well-liked Cuban tv present host and comic José Pérez Córdoba, higher referred to as Carlucho, wearing drag as a Santería priestess — and in blackface, together with his face lined in black greasepaint and extensive splotches of vibrant pink lipstick round his mouth.

The video, which can be posted on the Ñooo! Que Barato! Facebook web page, reveals Carlucho on the cellphone with Afro-Cuban comic José Téllez Fernández, recognized by his stage title “El Enano,” who he has presumably dispatched to carry again white skirts and beaded necklaces.
When New Times known as Ñooo! Que Barato! proprietor Serafín Blanco on Monday to ask whether or not he felt some may view the blackface portrayal as racist, Blanco stated the likelihood hadn’t occurred to him however that he would cease airing the advert if it was regarded as offensive.

“I don’t think [it’s racist], but if you think it would hurt someone, I can take it out,” the proprietor stated.

Blanco defined that Carlucho is a private good friend and that the comedian did the business to focus on the shop’s Santería-related wares. Though the video was posted in March, Blanco stated it had been filmed a while in the past.

Carlucho didn’t reply to an emailed request for remark.

Blackface and minstrelsy have a historical past in Cuba and the Caribbean so long as within the U.S., although the Cuban notion of such photos is markedly totally different from the present-day North American perspective.

Blackface grew to become popularized as a type of theater in Cuba within the nineteenth Century as a type of racial mockery after previously enslaved individuals and Afro-Cubans demanded inclusion and emancipation. But when Cuban exiles got here to the U.S. and notably Miami within the latter half of the twentieth Century, blackface comedy and minstrelsy — recognized in Cuba as teatro bufo — discovered new life, in response to anthropology professor Ariana Hernandez-Reguant.

“Cuban blackface minstrels…found a welcome in exile,” Hernandez-Reguant and coauthor Jossianna Arroyo-Martínez write in “The Brownface of Latinidad in Cuban Miami,” an essay revealed on the web site “In 2000s Miami, Cubans have used blackface to comment on a new society structured by class and race. The more they themselves have been represented in the U.S. media as brown (recall Scarface, and more recently, Paula Deen’s son as Ricky Ricardo), the more they have claimed a whiteness that should grant them inclusion and a path for upward mobility. In Miami, no matter their immigrant cohort, Cubans report overwhelmingly (over 95 percent) as white. But while their position in a white and black world is unambiguous, their relation to a hybrid, or brown Latinidad, is far more complicated.”

Hernandez-Reguant tells New Times that whereas the U.S. has an extended historical past of racial reckoning that has made the broader tradition conscious of the racism and offensiveness inherent in minstrel reveals, Cuba has but to expertise such a reckoning, which explains why white Cubans like Blanco and Carlucho do not see something unsuitable with such caricatures.

“Cuba didn’t have a civil-rights movement. There hasn’t been a racial critique,” Hernandez-Reguant says. “When someone like Carlucho does this character, his argument would be that while Americans see this differently, this performance isn’t for Americans.”

Danielle Clealand, an affiliate professor on the University of Texas at Austin who wrote a 2018 op-ed for the Miami Herald about blackface in Cuban media, provides that whereas white Cubans have embraced blackface performances, Black Cubans have lengthy known as these reveals what they’re: racist.

“There is an acute awareness that this is anti-Black and racist, and Afro-Cubans have been dealing with these offenses for decades,” Clealand tells New Times. “But I think there is also a resistance in the white Cuban community to valorizing the opinions of Black Cubans.”

Having considered the Ñooo! Que Barato! video, Clealand says the advert shouldn’t be solely offensive on a racial stage, however on a cultural stage as effectively.

“It’s not only that it’s blackface, but that it’s mocking Afro-Cuban religion. The way they talk, the way they dress, the kind of non-intellectual way of speaking — it’s playing on negative black stereotypes in violent ways.”

click on to enlarge A clip from Carlucho's erstwhile comedy series El Negrito y El Gallego, in which he portrayed a white Spaniard (El Gallego) opposite a fellow white Cuban actor in blackface as El Negrito. - SCREENSHOT FROM AMÉRICA TEVÉ VIA YOUTUBE

A clip from Carlucho’s erstwhile comedy collection El Negrito y El Gallego, during which he portrayed a white Spaniard (El Gallego) reverse a fellow white Cuban actor in blackface as El Negrito.

Screenshot from América TeVé by way of YouTube

Hernandez-Reguant notes that Carlucho has a historical past of blackface efficiency. She recollects the comedian’s efficiency within the comedy collection, El Negrito y El Gallego (Blackie and the Spaniard), which aired regionally till 2013.

In El Negrito y El Gallego, Carlucho performed El Gallego (the white Spaniard), whereas his companion, Mikail Mulkay, donned blackface make-up and pink lipstick as El Negrito.

“He [Carlucho] has been doing this for 20 years. He’s an actor in telenovela, they come from that tradition. His father had always done blackface as well,” Hernandez-Reguant says.

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