AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Germany has its own “Sinterklaas Scandal”

The Oktoberfest in Munich may be over, but a curious debate sparked by the annual Bavarian bierfest is lingering like a bad hangover. Is it racist to put up targets portraying black people for fairgoers to shoot at? Yes, in Germany this is treated as a question to be answered with yes or no. This

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...

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

What the Dutch court ruling against blackface figure Zwarte Piet means

The Amsterdam court ruling on Dutch blackface hero Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) yesterday quickly went viral. But what does the ruling really mean. In a nutshell: an Amsterdam judge did not forbid the figure of Black Pete, but ruled that Zwarte...

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The Year the Blackface Tradition in the Netherlands Hit the Big Time

In 2013, the world was introduced to the Dutch December tradition of Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”)—the blackfaced sidekick to Sinterklaas. Though a letter complaining of the racism inherent in the practice was sent to the Office of...

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

File under: #SMH Mandela Moments

Out of courtesy for Nelson Mandela’s memory (and the movement that he represented), we decided to hold any posts of #SMH (that’s Shake My Head) moments (basically occasions when you simply ask yourself “Why?”), till after the...

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

10 excuses most Dutch people make for racism

Today is the day Sinterklaas and his little black slaves give candy to children, although nature got in the way somewhat. As you’re aware, “Zwarte Piet” (translated: Black Pete) is how the helpers of Saint Nicholas are...

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

File under: Dutch Liberalism

In the Netherlands, many people convince themselves that racism is something that exists elsewhere–in South Africa, for example, or in the United States. For this is a ‘tolerant,’ liberal nation. To maintain the facade, often blatant...

Monday, November 18th, 2013

‘Tribal’ Reality Television 2.0

There was this sincere hope that we had seen the end of the so-called ‘tribal reality shows;’ that is television programs where groups of westerners spend some time with one of the ‘last remaining’ or ‘authentic tribes’...

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Black History in Amsterdam

Recently on a sunny afternoon, fellow AIAC-er Serginho Roosblad and I ventured out to learn more about the history of black people in Amsterdam and the contribution they made to the city since its early days. Surely there...

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

The politics of selling African art mostly collected during colonial era to private collectors (in the Netherlands)

The proposed sale of the Africa Collection at The World Museum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands has sparked some interesting debates in Dutch media lately. Unfortunately some important questions and issues around this sale are not being discussed....

Monday, November 30th, 2009

A Dutch White Christmas

This is how they celebate Christmas in the Netherlands complete with Father Christmas and his helpers in blackface. A Dutch friend of mine provides some context: … Racism in Holland is still very open. I actually...