Halloween’s a frightening time, and this postcard is frightening on so many levels, I thought it should be shared and contemplated.
This vintage Black Americana postcard dates back to at least 1910. As examples of Black Americana often do, it depicts African Americans in an exaggerated, demeaning, and stereotypical manner. It can be considered shocking and offensive to anyone who does not consider themselves a racist. The derogatory nature of this postcard reflects a different time in American history when it was acceptable to have black stereotypes not only in the home, but everywhere.
The caption reads: “You would laugh too, if you had seen, what the Moor saw on Halloween.” Laugh? I’m not laughing. And neither is the unfortunate couple that was reading together quietly only to be traumatized by the sight of a KKK-style creep with a huge jack-o-lantern menacing them through an open window.
A postcard tells a story in a way that no other medium can, and I think this one speaks volumes about a shameful time in American social history. Fortunately, this kind of postcard would be unthinkable today. I hope this post brought you as much discomfort as it’s brought me.