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Archive for Sunday, November 4, 2007

Blackface costumes stir racial tension on campus

November 4, 2007

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— Halloween costumes inspired by a Disney movie have spurred racial tension at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a campus that's grappled with questions of cultural respect several times in the past year.

The university is investigating a case of four white students who dressed in blackface the weekend before Halloween to portray Jamaican bobsledders from the 1993 movie "Cool Runnings."

To look the part, they wore spandex outfits decorated with colored duct tape, and painted their faces brown. Photos of the students were posted to the online social networking site Facebook. Someone sent the images to the university administration.

University administrators and students held a forum last month to discuss cultural stereotyping at costume parties.

Comments

number3of5 7 years, 1 month ago

So, it is okay for a multitude of white children to portray Indian braves, or Pocahontas, but not to portray the Jamaican bobsled team. Come on people, aren't we carrying discrimination too far afield when it comes to the African American or Black peoples of the world? If they are special, tell me how. Halloween is a time to wear costumes to pretend we are something we are not. To be disrespectful while in costume however is never a good idea.

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