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In Full . . .

End this Morris ‘tradition’

Posted on September 03 2014 at 12:55:43

I was horrified to see the August edition of The Village on my doormat when I got home today. I am not normally one to speak up about such things but the cover shot really upset my family.

Impersonating a black person is offensive. “Blacking up” is steeped in a history of discrimination and degradation.

The minstrels and golliwogs of the 19th and 20th century were sinister in their portrayal of black people, a race dehumanised and ridiculed as rogues for the amusement of a privileged, superior white race.

I have heard a few people in the village defend the blacked-up dancers saying that it is “because of historical reasons” but with no further explanation. To say that people who claim it is offensive for dancers to blacken their faces are ignorant of history is frankly absurd.

A disguise? Then why don’t they wear camouflage? A costume? Hardly. I cannot see how any explanation for this practice could ever make it right.

There is notably no narrative in the magazine explaining why this offensive image fronts the edition.

It is no coincidence that Alvechurch, although less than 12 miles away from the centre of one of the world’s most ethnically diverse cities, is predominantly white owing to “traditions” such as this.

Isn’t it time for the village to move on from the 19th century? Yes, continue to embrace tradition, we all enjoy the dancing, but please ditch the Kiwi and help build a more inclusive and diverse community, welcoming for all.

Name and address supplied, Alvechurch


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