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White and non-black people are told NOT to share Oprah memes because it is ‘digital blackface’ 

White and non-black people are being told not to share any of the quite a few Oprah Winfrey memes from her bombshell interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – because they are a type of ‘digital blackface’.  

The Slow Factory Foundation, a non-profit devoted to social and environmental justice, this week points a warning about digital blackface, describing it as an online phenomenon the place white and non-black people share GIFs and pictures of black people to specific emotion, and stating that it usually perpetuates damaging stereotypes that they are ‘aggressive, loud, and sassy.’     

In an Instagram put up, the group used an Oprah meme as a direct instance of ‘digital blackface’ – sparking a livid debate within the feedback the place some agreed with the message, whereas others hit again, claiming that banning non-black people from posting the memes equates to ‘black erasure’.  

Viral: The explosion of Oprah Winfrey memes following her interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has prompted a fierce debate about whether they are digital blackface

Viral: The explosion of Oprah Winfrey memes following her interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has prompted a fierce debate about whether or not they are digital blackface 

Funny or not? The tell-all interview has inspired countless memes,  many of which center around Oprah's stunned reactions

Funny or not? The tell-all interview has impressed numerous memes,  lots of which focus on Oprah’s shocked reactions

‘Performing Blackness, be it IRL or online, is not a suitable type of expressing response or dissatisfaction, particularly not in change for likes and retweets,’ the group wrote in its post.  

The Slow Factory Foundation went on to insist that people should not be sharing the latest onslaught of Oprah memes simply because they’re widespread, suggesting that they are harking back to white people sporting blackface in minstrel reveals. 

‘Since the #MeghanandHarry interview on Oprah, we’ve been seeing plenty of digital blackface infractions with a number of of Oprah’s response gifs and photographs going viral, however that doesn’t imply you ought to be utilizing them,’ the non-profit defined. 

The feedback had been restricted, possible to weed out any racist messages, however ideas on the put up had been extremely blended.   

Some praised the group for elevating consciousness for digital blackface, whereas others felt the inclusion of memes was going too far and truly a type of black erasure. 


Educating: The Slow Factory Foundation recently raised awareness for digital blackface following Oprah's bombshell interview

Educating: The Slow Factory Foundation lately raised consciousness for digital blackface following Oprah’s bombshell interview 

Argument: The organization explained that these memes perpetuate negative stereotypes about black people and are reminiscent of minstrel shows

Argument: The group defined that these memes perpetuate damaging stereotypes about black people and are harking back to minstrel reveals

Advice: The Slow Factory Foundation said white and non-black people shouldn't be sharing the recent onslaught of Oprah memes just because they're popular

Advice: The Slow Factory Foundation mentioned white and non-black people should not be sharing the latest onslaught of Oprah memes simply because they’re widespread

Don't do it: The nonprofit also recognized white or non-black people using black emoji as a form of digital blackface

Don’t do it: The nonprofit additionally acknowledged white or non-black people utilizing black emoji as a type of digital blackface 

Debate: The comments were limited, likely to weed out racist messages, but thoughts on the post were mixed

Debate: The comments were limited, likely to weed out racist messages, but thoughts on the post were mixed

Debate: The feedback had been restricted, possible to weed out racist messages, however ideas on the put up had been blended

Thoughts: Some praised the organization for raising awareness for digital blackface, while others felt the inclusion of memes was going too far and actually a form of black erasure

Thoughts: Some praised the organization for raising awareness for digital blackface, while others felt the inclusion of memes was going too far and actually a form of black erasure

Thoughts: Some praised the group for elevating consciousness for digital blackface, whereas others felt the inclusion of memes was going too far and truly a type of black erasure

Disagreement: There was a popular argument that equating memes and GIFs with digital blackface was doing more harm than good

Disagreement: There was a popular argument that equating memes and GIFs with digital blackface was doing more harm than good

Disagreement: There was a preferred argument that equating memes and GIFs with digital blackface was doing extra hurt than good

‘Thanks for educating! Didn’t learn about this,’ one particular person wrote, whereas one other added: ‘What an attention-grabbing level that I’ve by no means even thought of. I by no means been a fan of non Black people utilizing Black emojis because it felt clearly incorrect. 

‘But sharing gifs and photographs is one which by no means even crossed my thoughts and the instance given makes a lot sense. Definitely going to consider what I put up and when.’ 


While quite a lot of commenters agreed that white and non-black people should not use black emoji, there was a preferred argument that equating memes and GIFs with digital blackface was doing extra hurt than good. 

Some mentioned the dialog was truly taking the main target away from extra essential points similar to blackface and cultural appropriation. 

‘Blackface is a violent and dangerous illustration of black people rooted in violence. Using a gif of Oprah is NOT blackface. That is such a gross misnomer and false equivalency,’ one particular person commented. 

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Reactions: Many of the Oprah memes show the media mogul deep in thought or looking shocked. In one popular image, she has her hands held up in front of her and her face turned

Reactions: Many of the Oprah memes present the media mogul deep in thought or wanting shocked. In one widespread picture, she has her fingers held up in entrance of her and her face turned

‘I…suppose we’d like to cowl the fundamentals earlier than we begin attempting to coin phrases like digital blackface,’ one other Instagram consumer mentioned. ‘Racial reconciliation and decolonizing is getting very oversaturated and overcomplicated. 

‘Can we simply strive to heal from all of the racial trauma that has impacted all people earlier than we begin attempting to police how people use gifs and emoticons? I’m certain this could be a half [of] the method, however it’s actually a leap.’  

The thought of digital blackface has been round for years, however it gained mainstream traction when author Lauren Michele Jackson used the time period in her viral essay for Teen Vogue that was revealed in 2017. 

Following Meghan and Harry’s tell-all with Oprah, quite a lot of media shops revealed tales highlighting probably the most hilarious memes to come out of the interview.  


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Tweets: The debate about whether sharing these comical memes is digital blackface has also reached Twitter,

Tweets: The debate about whether or not sharing these comical memes is digital blackface has additionally reached Twitter,

Many of them present the media mogul deep in thought or wanting shocked. In one widespread picture, she has her fingers held up in entrance of her and her face turned. 

The debate about whether or not sharing these comical memes is digital blackface has additionally reached Twitter, the place some have been utilizing the explosion of Oprah memes to educate others about digital blackface. 

‘With the entire Oprah memes going round, this is only a reminder to college your self on the idea of digital blackface earlier than you embarrass your self with out that means to, fellow white people,’ one particular person wrote. 

‘I’m seeing plenty of Oprah memes and simply wished to share my latest studying about digital blackface,’ another person added.  

‘Was struggling to perceive why I used to be so uncomfortable seeing white/non-Black ppl utilizing Oprah’s (and different Black girls’s) face in memes/GIFs till I learn this,’ one other tweeted, referring to Lydia Wang’s latest article for Refinery29, titled ‘This Oprah Photo Is Quickly Becoming The Latest Example Of Digital Blackface.’

One critic insisted that ‘the world has gone mad,’ asking: ‘So what will we name all the opposite faces, of all colors, that are utilized in meme’s and gif’s throughout social media? [sic]’




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