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Dominican Beauty Queen Dons Blackface and Butt Pads to Imitate Darker-Skinned Dominican Singer

• Sep 21, 2016

Recently, a popular Latino variety show featured actress, TV host and 2008 Miss World Dominican Republic Geisha Montes de Oca, imitating Amara “La Negra” — which would have been nothing new except she was wearing blackface.

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This is Montes de Oca out of blackface.

And this is Amara “La Negra,” the woman being imitated:

Amara La Negra

A post shared by A M A R A “LA NEGRA” (@amaralanegraaln) on

Es verdad! Yo si soy FEA! 😂😂😂 miren Como Sufro! #Burlaaaaaa

A post shared by A M A R A “LA NEGRA” (@amaralanegraaln) on

Many viewers were upset about the imitation, and left a slew of comments on the show’s Instagram page.

via Instagram

via Instagram

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via Instagram

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via Instagram

However, some defended Montes de Oca, attributing the controversy to a difference in cultures between those in the US and Dominicans.

via Instagram

via Instagram

In a now-deleted Instagram post Montes de Oca further explained the situation and responded to those criticizing her, saying Dominicans celebrate all aspects and don’t view color in the same way.

Amara also reposted the blackface photo to her Instagram, but it’s unclear whether she supports or is offended by the costume, because she did not leave a caption on it.

Of course, we all know that blackface is a major offense in the United States, and to many of us, it’s even more surprising that a Dominican woman (who doesn’t seem to identify as black) would paint her face in such a manner to imitate another Dominican, then respond seeing nothing wrong with it. But is it more complicated than that? Is it truly part of Dominican culture to do something like this for the sake of good fun or to pay homage to another person? Given the tension in the country among light and dark skinned Dominicans and an ongoing idealism of anti-blackness, we aren’t so sure. Skin bleaching is prominent in the Dominican Republic, and there have been historical efforts to lighten the Dominican race (even one of the commenters cited Rafael Trujillo, a former Dominican President responsible for the Parsley Massacre that annihilated thousands of Haitians). So even as a Black American, I’m skeptical regarding Montes de Oca’s view of a lack of racism in the country and the rest of us not understanding her culture.

What do you think, BGLH readers? Is blackface in the Dominican Republic offensive or not?

 

 

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71 Comments on "Dominican Beauty Queen Dons Blackface and Butt Pads to Imitate Darker-Skinned Dominican Singer"

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Sandy
Guest
Complete bullshit with Geisha . DR is utterly racist against darker skinned Dominicans and its evident now as it was then. I have friends who are from DR and are dark skin sisters and they experience it with the name calling which visiting their own homeland. So Geisha should shut the hell up and have several seats trying to make people believe that this is “there culture”. Yah its there culture to be racists against there darker Dominicans since the beginner of Dominican history. Lighter skinned Dominicans, they don’t know there history at all. They’ve been taught lies, when clearly… Read more »
Victoria Owl
Guest
It’s highly possible that she was unaware of the history of Black Face in America. Many people are clueless about American history and just history in general! There are Americans who do not know their own history. So if you expect someone from another country to know the history about your country then you should do the same for their country. The world does not revolve around America. It is because of the help of social media platforms in recent years, why many folks are now, “aware”. Many of you weren’t thinking about these things before social media. So instead… Read more »
Claudette UK
Guest

This level of ignorance saddens me. When people don’t know who they are or where they come from, and instead follow the prevailing racist view without thinking for themselves. I can only pity them.

KissOfDanger
Guest

I’m of Haitian descent and you know what, Dominicans are hiding behind “culture”. This is a culture of RACISM. Let’s call a spade a spade.

kalexa1
Guest

Exactly.

Fredricka Christina
Guest

She is Miss World Dominican Republic 2008 not 2014

shetroll
Guest

I think she looks better browner

kalexa1
Guest

Nice detractor, yet sadly, not the point at all here.

Ms. Vee
Guest

Maybe we should give her the benefit of the doubt. Deep down she knew she would look better imitating the gorgeous Amara la Negra.

rumo
Guest

Black face is offensive, its history in America or not.

blogdiz
Guest

Technically it is their culture as anti blackness and mocking of black features is ingrained in DR culture. I am also Afro Caribbean so black face isn’t rooted in our culture but i still know its wrong , so thats NO excuse
Calling this out is not imposing other peoples cultural standards on them but we the black diaspora as well as well thinking Dominicans needs to have that country reckon with its antitblack culture .its 2016 FFS

maralondon
Guest

These people of Hispanic background are so insensitive to these racial stereotypes of people of African origin. Unfortunately it’s not exclusive to DR. Take a look at this video and see how far this ignorance has spread.

A.P. Millz-CT
Guest

I’m not surprised at this in the least. Dominicans are the most self hating black people on the planet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Except for my hairdresser.. lol

Me
Guest

-.- .… Boycott DR

Jae Rachel Rouse
Guest

I think it’s hypocritical that people are offended by “blackface,” but applaud “drag queens.” Really, what is the difference? Someone thinking they can become black, or become a woman, just by dressing up or painting their face like one is offensive. It takes more than paint, makeup, or enhanced body parts to truly know the struggle or what it means to belong to a gender, culture, or race.

sugarlips
Guest

Because drag queens aren’t mocking us, don’t pretend to not see the difference. It’d be different if they were purposely looking like ugly women as a way to downgrade. With blackface, they did it to emphasize the “ugliness” of our skin. This girl didn’t even TRY to look cute, she was trying to look exaggeratedly BAD

J.Nne
Guest

CLEARLY you know NOTHING about drag. There is, literally, no correlation at all. Black face was made to mimick and make mockery of the black person during the period of Jim Crowe whereas drag is an art form where men portray themselves as exuberant women. Drag was never created to be spiteful, racist, patriarchal, or ignorant. Drag queens also don’t turn around to ignore the plight women have experienced whereas people who don blackface love to deny the very-real experience of black oppression while belittling slavery as well. NEVER compare the two.

Anya W
Guest
Really? That is a completely nonsensical comparison which smacks of ignorance of the history of blackface and the art of drag. Many men who do drag actually idolize women and will tell you that that’s why they do what they do. The intent is to embody beautiful/glamorous women. They do not denigrate women or imitate our features in a way that’s intended to demonstrate ugliness and inferiority. The latter is what blackface is. Blackface has never been anything more than the mockery of black people to white audiences. There is a *reason* (and a very good one, at that) why… Read more »
bosslaydee
Guest

BIG DIFFERENCE. the difference being, when people use black face like miss de orca, they use “nappy”, knotted, afros, the darkest face paint and overly pink large lips to mock black people. when drag queens embody women, they portray the greats like CHER, MADONNA, DIANA ROSS, TINA TURNER. gorgeous glamorous women. not trash women.

ss (short & sweet)
Guest
This is a crock full of ____. Montes de Oca knows she was wrong. It was wrong to body shame Ms. Amara. It was wrong to parody Ms. Amara. That’s not Ms Amara’s complexion, it’s blackface — a cruel parody of African complexions. When I visited Philadelphia back in the early 1980’s, a friend took me to see the Mummer’s Parade on New Years’ day, an annual tradition attended by families for decades. When I saw the painted faces, plaits, pigtails and pickaninny (pickney) costumes, I was like “what in the fresh ___ is this mess?” I was not entertained… Read more »
StraightShooter
Guest

This is an excuse. The Dominican Republic is extremely racist and they know what they did was problematic. They forcefully deported many Black Dominicans just a while back.

Victoria Owl
Guest
No i am very aware of how ridiculously racist and ignorant some people are in the Dominican Republic. Whether or not the Black Face culture is ingrained in their culture, mocking someone in that manner period is insensitive. But my response was based on the unproductive comments towards Geisha that were highlighted in this article as well as on social media. All the derogatory comments are unnecessary and distracting. If you want to bring about change, if you want to make your message loud and clear that is not the way to go about it because the message may get… Read more »
ss (short & sweet)
Guest

The first time I heard the word shibboleth and looked it up — the DR was referenced in the description…

ticha st.fleur
Guest

There isnt any remedy for ignorance or racism.i dont know why SOME Dominicans think theyre white when more than 80 percent are descended from Africa because some of the first slaves brought from Africa were taken to hispanola.wasnt they taught that in history class?!!.it just shows how much they hate theirselves e.g. Sammy Sosa; athlete who bleaches his skin and they kill haitians evryday but whether ya like it or not have a lil bit of haitian and ur not white either.Btw im black asf.

ss (short & sweet)
Guest

I think you are right that Social Media has made people more aware.

Discriminated and marginalized African descendants in Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, etc., are standing up to the majority population that uses blackface for entertainment.

People of the diaspora have had enough — and are calling for an end.

It doesn’t matter if Americans believe the DR is racist, or in her words “one of the happiest countries in the world”; if Dominicans insist the practice of blackface is racist, then their backlash has NOTHING to do with American twitter comments or American history.

Dominicans are now cleaning their own house.

Victoria Owl
Guest
Agreed!! You are absolutely right! Whether or not other countries have the Black Face culture or a different version of it, what matters is what the citizens of that country think. Racism is everywhere and each country has their own issues to deal with. But I am glad the DR is now being forced to deal with their issues. My response was based on the information that was presented from this article and also the manner in which some people responded via social media with such unproductive and derogatory comments towards Geisha. We have to be clever in how we… Read more »
kb
Guest

Even if they don’t have a culture of blackface, she is mocking La Negra’s blackness, which is what blackface is.

sugarlips
Guest

Exalty, pretending l like she doesn’t know exactly what she was doing. And what a HATER as well. Mocking her cause she could never look like Amara.

TWA4now
Guest

It’s offensive no matter what country. Blackface is a derogatory act.

Blessednfavored
Guest
I am from the caribbean and grew up in Harlem NY most of my life. I’ve lived among Dominicans. I went to school with them and even dated many of them. They are the most self hating blacks on the planet and from my experience, they do hate against their darker skinned people. I dont know how many times Ive walked into a Dominican hair salon to get my hair done and have heard this sentence, “ohh mami, you need a perm” and I would have to defend my natural curls and have them give me a wash and blow… Read more »
Maria
Guest
I’m Dominican and I completely understand this! But, like you said Dominican is a nationality not a race so people in DR could be caucasian, african, and a myriad/mix of other races. My background is tri-racial as my family is White, Black, and Native American. But, because my skin is brown and my features more prominently African, I identify as Afro-Latina/Black-Dominican. But, from what you wrote saying that Dominicans are of the Black race of people on Earth would imply if a Dominican did identify as White, it would be wrong. If this is the case, I disagree because the… Read more »
Anya W
Guest
But this is the same for most blacks in the Americas. Most blacks in the Americas are technically admixed (including Haitians) as a result of slavery and European colonization — just to different degrees. The average African American, for example, is technically about 25% European and a small percentage Native American. I’m African American and I am technically 30% European and 2% Native American; however, all of that European DNA originates from the era of slavery. My parents, grandparents, great grandparents, 2nd great grandparents, and 3rd great grandparents are all black. Like most other African Americans, I would never identify… Read more »
Emmeaki
Guest

One Dominican coworker talked about how she didn’t like black guys, but I’m black and she was nearly the same complexion as me. If she were American and not Dominican, she would be considered black just like me.

kalexa1
Guest

It’s not “highly possible that she was unaware” …unless she’s been residing on Mars for the past 500yrs. Here in Europe, we’re very aware and are nowhere near America! The slave trade ran riot across the whole globe, and it’s evil roots still spring up weeds today.

Victoria Owl
Guest
I understand what you are saying but you would be surprised. I was born in the U.S but grew up in the islands traveling back and forth and I knew so many people who may have heard the term Black Face but did not understand the history behind it and I’m talking Americans, West-Indians, Dominicans, Puerto ricans etc. My parents never spoke about this I had to learn about it in college. I am also aware that the Dominican Republic is a racist country themselves so I think they have their own issues that they need to fix. But my… Read more »
ny busi
Guest

THE MONTY ONE IS JUST JEALOUS THAT THE AMARA GIRL IS JUST FINE, SEXIER AND HAS A MUUUUUUUUUUUUCH BETTER BODY THAN SHE DOES, HENCE, THE BOOTY PADS SHE HAD TO WEAR TO IMITATE (YET, NO WHERE NEAR DUPLICATE). I MEAN REALLY THERE IS NO COMPARISON. SORRY BUT FACE WISE AMARA IS ALSO MORE EXOTIC, THE MONTY LOOKS LIKE A FISH FACE WITH NOTHING SPECIAL. SHE AGREED TO DO IT BECAUSE THE AMARA GIRL IS BANGING AND SHE’S JUST JEALOUS.

Tamara Etter
Guest

I thought it was common knowledge that the DR discriminates against dark skinned everybody. Not much different than…oh I don’t know…everywhere on the planet.

maralondon
Guest

To some not all. People like this ignorant woman have to be exposed because Black people whether dark skinned or light have been discredited and made a mockery of for centuries now and it’s high time we stopped being the butt of others jokes. This lady and others who behave like her, needs all the exposure possible outside of DR, she needs to feel the wrath of angry people worldwide.

chosen_one1
Guest

No dominicans are aware of where their ancestors came from but choose to ignore it and make fun of darker skinned people.
They are a self hating group whose population is under the impression they are not black but Spanish, because they were colonized by Spaniards and taught spanish. Yet slaves brought from Africa there and they are true descendants of them.

Victoria Owl
Guest
I agree but I have younger family members who are in middle school and even high school and some of their dominican and Puerto Rican friends think that they are a race! Their parents are putting this nonsense into their heads and they are always surprised and or in disbelief whenever someone informs them about their African ancestors. It is very sad. Also, I was only responding to the unproductive ways some people on social media chose to approach the issue and Geisha as well as the article’s question regarding Black Face in DR and whether or not the DR… Read more »
Guest
Guest

No, they aren’t taught any lies or are in denial. They know very well about slavery and the African influence in the country, same with the European and Taino influence.

Light skinned Dominicans are mixed raced individuals, as are most people in DR and see themselves as that instead of black. That’s how it is in all of Latin America.

maralondon
Guest

Watch the video I posted above concerning the protests in Columbia against Black face. The protesters are proud people of African descent.

maralondon
Guest

Black face was rooted in European culture based on our Ancestors. It was prevalent in Britain. I certainly saw it growing up in England but we not stupid enough to internalise the hatred towards us. You still see it in Holland and other parts of Scandinavia.

Dee
Guest

You don’t need a history lesson to know that MOCKING someone or an entire group of Black women is wrong, especially when you live in a country with heavy colorism and an embedded history of white supremacy.

trackback

[…] As Black Girl Long Hair points out, many viewers took to the show’s Instagram account to express their outrage. “This is disgusting,” said one commenter. “She is making a mockery of her own African descent … so sad. Love the DR, but the people are so stuck with the slave mentality. They see nothing wrong with it.” […]

Krys
Guest

They treat dark skinned Dominicans like crap. I’ve seen it. You don’t need a history of blackface in the country to know this was intended as hurtful mockery. This is unacceptable.

bosslaydee
Guest

dominicans, brazilians, puerto ricans.. they all dont stand being labelled as black. its so sad.

Anya W
Guest
You would have a point if blackface was used only in the United States and if the DR wasn’t an unabashed white supremacist nation (despite much of the rest of the world viewing Dominicans as black). However, blackface was used by Europeans all over the New World to mock people of African descent and the DR has had plenty of racial strife of its own. Most Dominicans know when a dark- skinned person is being denigrated because the inferiority of darker-skinned people is deeply ingrained in the DR. They care very much about the tone of one’s skin and the… Read more »
Anya W
Guest

How is the response on social media any more outrageous than the act of engaging in blackface on a national television show? When you engage in a behavior that strikes a chord with so many people and worsens the quality of life of so many people who have to live life everyday in dark skin, this tends to happen.

Victoria Owl
Guest

I understand this. But as I mentioned before, at times it can become too extreme which a lot of people tend to thrive off of resulting in the message being lost. People are so use to us reacting a certain way. I am only stating that in times like these we have to be mindful and clever about how we go about these issues. Be better at playing their game. I don’t believe in fighting fire with fire. It only makes matters worse.

Tony
Guest
Ironically the current Miss World Dominican Republic is dark skinned and promotes natural hair! Her name is Yaritza Reyes. There have also been many black Miss DR World of many shades. Anyway, the one drop rule comes from the American institution of racism and was literally created to maintain “purity” of “white blood” Dominican society (like most Latin American societies) were split into castes and so a mulatto or a mixed race person was not socially considered the same as a black person, hence most people in DR identify as mixed race and not black because that’s what most of… Read more »
bosslaydee
Guest

Also, you can be a different “race/color” as your biological sister or brother even if you have the same parents.”
HWHAT?! lmaoooo this cannot be real life. me and my sister are both BLACK. she is fair skinned with hazel eyes and lighter hair and im brown skin with brown eyes and darker hair. were both BLACK. same parents automatically makes us black. omg lmao

Emmeaki
Guest

It’s like that in other countries as well. They go by skin color. My Colombian coworker referred to her complexion as “wheat”. She said, “I’m not white, I’m wheat!” But, by American standards, she would probably white, as far as Latinas are concerned. We need to get rid of this “one drop” mentality and stop making one’s complexion such a defining factor in their lives.

Nils Johann
Guest

If you mix around enough, you would be amazed by the results it can produce. Two girls on the bottom are twins. comment image

Niesha
Guest

Amara is stunning!!! Jealousy is real, the other girl looks like a basic bish with weave n makeup.

Angela
Guest

Admixture and mixed if not the same.

Angela
Guest

Why would Montes de Oca identify as black? She is mixed and is likely predominantly white.

trackback

[…] there has been at least one incident of someone imitating the singer in blackface. In 2016, former Dominican beauty queen Geisha Montes de Oca took the stage on the variety show […]

trackback

[…] there has been at least one incident of someone imitating the singer in blackface. In 2016, former Dominican beauty queen Geisha Montes de Oca took the stage on the variety show […]

trackback

[…] there has been at least one incident of someone imitating the singer in blackface. In 2016, former Dominican beauty queen Geisha Montes de Oca took the stage on the variety show […]

trackback

[…] Negra’s natural born beauty back in 2016. During popular variety show Aquí Se Habla Español, former Dominican beauty queen Geisha Montes de Oca wore blackface, an Afro wig, and butt padding to make her overall appearance […]

trackback

[…] there has been at least one incident of someone imitating the singer in blackface. In 2016, former Dominican beauty queen Geisha Montes de Oca took the stage on the variety show […]

trackback

[…] Negra’s natural born beauty back in 2016. During popular variety show Aquí Se Habla Español, former Dominican beauty queen Geisha Montes de Oca wore blackface, an Afro wig, and butt padding to make her overall appearance […]

trackback

[…] La Negra’s natural born beauty back in 2016. During popular variety show Aquí Se Habla Español, former Dominican beauty queen Geisha Montes de Oca wore blackface, an Afro wig, and butt padding to make her overall appearance […]

trackback

[…] that she try looking a bit more like “Beyoncé” and less “Macy Gray.” Further, in 2016, a former Dominican beauty queen was called out for becoming a blackface version of Amara’s look — wearing a faux Afro, dark […]

trackback

[…] that she try looking a bit more like “Beyoncé” and less “Macy Gray.” Further, in 2016, a former Dominican beauty queen was called out for becoming a blackface version of Amara’s look — wearing a faux Afro, dark […]

R. Krey
Guest
“The lack of recognition of racism… reinforces the widespread silence concerning racism. Through this silence, discourse surrounding racism is more easily censored and controlled, as this silence is supported by the public consensus that there is no need to talk about it simply because it does not exist. “Implicit racism… is something that is often experienced by Afro-Brazilians and Indio-Brazilians on a daily basis but is rarely discussed. Due to this invisibility, acts of implicit racism have been normalized and accepted as part of a daily routine in Brazil. There are some implicit forms of racism that are so deeply… Read more »
trackback

[…] there has been at least one incident of someone imitating the singer in blackface. In 2016, former Dominican beauty queen Geisha Montes de Oca took the stage on the variety show […]

Alfie Fernandez
Guest
I absolutely hate blackface, but, to be fair, I grew up in the Dominican Republic, as a matter of fact, lived there until 2009, and even though there’s a lot of racism, even by dark-skinned people (a dark skinned person may call other dark-skinned people “moreno” in a derogatory manner, which is crazy!), I HATE TO SAY THIS, but, people really don’t know what blackface is, and if someone uses it, they see it as something funny. Even during Carnaval, plenty of people don blackface. I myself didn’t know that it was considered an offense until adulthood, I grew up… Read more »
trackback

[…] there has been at least one incident of someone imitating the singer in blackface. In 2016, former Dominican beauty queen Geisha Montes de Oca took the stage on the variety show […]

trackback

[…] there has been at least one incident of someone imitating the singer in blackface. In 2016, former Dominican beauty queen Geisha Montes de Oca took the stage on the variety show […]

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