AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Friday, November 25th, 2011

I Remember Black Pete

As a child, I never believed in Santa Claus. I believed in Saint Nicholas and Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). I remember waking up as a child on December 6, 1983, three hours before daybreak. I also remember waking up early on December 6 for years afterwards. Always early, always too excited to go back to

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Using blackface to make a point

The filmmaker Sunny Bergman’s documentary ‘Our Colonial Hangover’ will premiere in Amsterdam at the annual international documentary IDFA festival on November 27th.  The film reflects Bergman’s personal search into national blackface character Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), Dutch...

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Why debating and getting rid of Zwarte Piet won’t be a priority in Belgium

Why is the discussion surrounding Zwarte Piet getting far less traction in Belgium than it does in the Netherlands? For me, it boils down to one issue: racism in Belgium is endemic, and it is not taken...

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Tis the blackface season in the Netherlands …

For all the Dutch claims about liberalism and multiculturalism, their love affair with a popular black-faced figure Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), associated with the annual tradition of Sinterklaas (a Santa Clause like figure), keeps exposing the racism that is...

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Who profits from the production of blackface?

That time of the year is coming up again and the contested Dutch blackface figure Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) is still with us. Some tried to turn blackface into brownface (only in the Netherlands) while others are still trying...

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