Ex-Cop Plans Blackface Performance
A former Baltimore cop plans to perform in blackface to raise money for indicted officers.
Bobby Berger, whose performances as Jolson created tension with the department in the 1980s, said Wednesday that 610 tickets have been sold in eight days at $45 each for the Nov. 1 fundraiser in Glen Burnie.
But the venue where Berger intended to hold the event, Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, posted a notice on its website that the fundraiser will not be hosted there.
“No contract was signed with Mr. Berger,” the notice said. “Michael’s does not condone blackface performances of any kind.”
Berger said in an interview he doesn’t believe there is anything racist about his routine.
“It’s coincidence,” Berger said about the fact that the entertainer he impersonates wore blackface. “There’s no racial overtones to this show. There’s nothing racial to the show.”
Michael Davey, an attorney for the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, said officers do not support the fundraiser. Gray was black. He died of injuries received in police custody. Davey said no money would be accepted from the fundraiser.