The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


The Faces of Racism

Nathan talks with historian Rhae Lynn Barnes about Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s 1984 yearbook page and its link to a long and disturbing history of blackface minstrelsy. They discuss how white civic organizations used minstrel shows for fundraising, why the era known as Jim Crow is named after a minstrel character, and what must happen to prevent people from donning blackface going forward. THIS EPISODE CONTAINS SOME LANGUAGE THAT PEOPLE MIGHT FIND OFFENSIVE.

Music in this episode:

Oh! Susanna by Criterion Quartet

Bespoke by Todd Gauthreaux

A text based logo for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation is helping Virginia Humanities and BackStory, change the narrative of race and representation.

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