The Atlantic

Canada’s Surprising History of Blackface

Scandalous images of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau don’t just tarnish his image—they also point to the hidden history of racism and minstrelsy in his country.
Source: CBC via Reuters

It is, unfortunately, not all that unusual for an American audience to learn that a politician dressed in blackface. Yet the case of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau manages to surprise.

For one thing, there’s Trudeau’s age. He is just 47, and one might expect an ambitious young man of his generation, and especially one whose father was prime minister, to be more politically savvy. Yet Trudeau was captured on film wearing face paint not once, not twice, but three times, including once on video—and that’s just what’s, Trudeau wore brown makeup to an “Arabian nights” party at a private school where he taught in 2001. He also , and on another occasion, .

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