ATLANTA – Parents of some second graders are furious after their children performed a play with blackface masks at school.
The school has apologized and is now trying to right their wrong.
Some parents told Channel 2’s Lauren Pozen they were so upset, they went straight to social media to express their frustration.
Out of that came a meeting on Friday afternoon with parents and staff.
One mother told Pozen that the incident was wrong and hurtful.
“We immediately recognized the masks as blackface,” mother Ari Lima said.
Second graders at the Kindezi School at Old Fourth Ward wore paper masks over their faces during a black history performance of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem “We Wear the Mask.”
Video of the performance was posted on Facebook by a mother and it sparked outrage.
A fourth grader said the performance upset her.
“I saw some people laughing at it and they thought it was like a comedy,” fourth grader Knasaiah Perry said.
A parent told Pozen that she and others take issue with the appropriateness of the mask and its historical context of the poem.
“It had nothing to do with blackface; Laurence Dunbar is probably rolling over somewhere because it is not contextually accurate,” Lima said.
In response to the backlash, the school apologized and held a meeting Friday evening to talk about how to move forward.
Lima said it’s a start, but it still needs work.
“There is this narrative of reshaping black face and amalgamating it so that it’s not an ugly part of our history and there’s really no ownership that the poem didn’t correlate with what we were seeing,” Lima said. Continue Reading: >>@ wbstvAtlanta
To be honest there is a painful redundancy in having to share the thoughts of another new writer, with a new book, giving the same old accounting on racial bias’s that we have been aware of and done nothing about for at least a generation.
Fighting Racial Bias in an Age of Mass Murder: Prejudice from the Coffee Shop to Charlottesville
As avowed neo-Nazi James Alex Fields pleaded guilty Wednesday to 29 counts of hate crimes in a federal court for plowing his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville in August of 2017, we look at a new book that addresses the tragic event, as well as the rising number of race-based mass shootings, hate crimes and police shootings of unarmed men in the past several years. It also examines cases of discrimination against African Americans for simply sitting in coffee shops or trying to vacation in Airbnb-hosted homes.
Professor Jennifer Eberhardt is the author of “Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do,” about how implicit bias impacts everything from hate crimes to microaggressions in the workplace, school and community, and what we can do about it. Eberhardt is a professor of psychology at Stanford and a recipient of a 2014 MacArthur “genius” grant.
Published on Mar 28, 2019