Chamblee54

Blackface Drag At Club Sheba

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on January 3, 2017

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Mary Cheney became famous in a traditional way. Her father is Dick Cheney, former VPOTUS, hunting guide, and terrorist. Apparently Ms. Cheney felt the need for attention recently. She posted the following matter on facebook.

“Why is it socially acceptable — as a form of entertainment — for men to put on dresses, make up and high heels and act out every offensive stereotype of women (bitchy, catty, dumb, slutty, etc.) — but it is not socially acceptable — as a form of entertainment — for a white person to put on blackface and act out offensive stereotypes of African Americans?”

When it comes to getting people to look at you, Mary Cheney is not in the same hemisphere as RuPaul. By remarkable coincidence, there is going to be a new season of a cable tv show, about drag queens, hosted by RuPaul. The comments by Ms. Cheney were seen by RuPaul as an opportunity to promote product. The video is embedded above.

We are not going to discuss the moral calculus of blackface vs drag in this post. That’s what facebook, twitter, and comment sections are for. This blog does not have the intellectual gravitas as youtube comment sections. Mary Cheney and RuPaul are getting the attention they require.

The pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These ladies were participating in “Inter city beauties, Atlantic City Pageant, 1925.” There is something appropriate about beauty pageant pictures illustrating a discussion of the relative political correctness of blackface and drag queens. If you want a picture of Mary Cheney, go somewhere else.

The second part of this feature is a repost. The show was performed in 1979. I recently saw “Carroll.” He lives in Pennsylvania today, and has a beard nine inches long.

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Reading about Shirley Q. Liquor brought back memories of a night long ago. A young man, who I will call Carroll, grew up across the street. In his spare time, he did drag shows. What I was expecting was Carol Burnett and Lily Tomlin, using his own voice. One Sunday night, free admission and a buffet was all I needed to venture downtown and see the show.

The venue was an unpretentious bar called Club Sheba. The clientele was mostly lesbians, many of whom were African Americans.

Club Sheba was located on Forrest Avenue. The street was named for Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate General who, some say, founded the Ku Klux Klan. Forrest Avenue late became Ralph McGill Boulevard, named after the former editor of the Atlanta Constitution.

As show time approached, I saw a table that had empty seats. I pulled back a seat, and a beefy lady informed me that she did not want a man to sit at that table.

The first act was what I expected. The reputation of Carol Burnett did not suffer, and Lily Tomlin was still in the closet. After the first act, I shot a game of pool with my friend, and went to the buffet for a second plate. A lady stopped me. ”You’re not supposed to get full”

I went back to the pool table. After a while there was a crowd standing around, and it was evident that a second act was going to start soon. I saw a black lady in the crowd making faces at me, took a second look, and realized that it was Carroll.

He did not use his voice this time, but lip synced to Grace Jones and Diana Ross. He wore blackface, and an afro wig. The crowd at the Club Sheba enjoyed this part of the show. Many of the Black Lesbians went to the stage and stuffed dollar bills in his faux bosom.

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