The history of the U.S. has racist residuals that haunt today’s society. Black face is one of those racist practices that dates back to the turn of the 20th century when whites would put black make-up on their face to debase and negatively stereotype the image of African Americans. But these facts may not be known to many young people today including their young parents.
Sean King is a second grader attending Meridian Ranch Elementary School in Colorado Springs that wanted to portray Martin Luther King, Jr., for his school project “wax museum day.” They were to dress up as a historical figure and he chose MLK. Well as we all know, MLK is black and King is not. So he, and obviously his parents, chose to put black make-up on his face and a mustache like MLK’s. (But frankly, he came out looking like Hitler if you ask me!)
That didn’t go over well with his principal, who asked him to wash his face before their program began because it would be offensive to black people. According to the Huffington Post, King told the local station KRDO:
“They thought it was inappropriate and it will be disrespectful to black people and I say it’s not,” young Sean said to KRDO. “I like black people. It’s just a costume and I don’t want to insult anybody.”
Even the NAACP supported the principal, but for many it’s overkill. Isn’t there bigger fish to fry? Do you find this offensive? Does this incident really reflect the struggle against the use of black face?
Check out the report.