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Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris

Related threads:
blacked up morris dancers abused in uk (323)
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GUEST,Ed 26 Aug 16 - 12:44 PM
leeneia 26 Aug 16 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Senoufou 26 Aug 16 - 01:17 PM
Senoufou 26 Aug 16 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Henry Piper of Ottery 26 Aug 16 - 01:55 PM
RTim 26 Aug 16 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,Ed 26 Aug 16 - 02:57 PM
Dave Hanson 26 Aug 16 - 02:59 PM
RTim 26 Aug 16 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,The unicornman 26 Aug 16 - 03:20 PM
The Sandman 26 Aug 16 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,Morris-ey 26 Aug 16 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,Psychomorris 26 Aug 16 - 04:02 PM
RTim 26 Aug 16 - 04:09 PM
Backwoodsman 26 Aug 16 - 04:18 PM
Jeri 26 Aug 16 - 05:27 PM
Senoufou 26 Aug 16 - 05:41 PM
Leadfingers 26 Aug 16 - 06:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 16 - 06:57 PM
GUEST,Morris-ey 26 Aug 16 - 07:05 PM
Jeri 26 Aug 16 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Morris-ey 26 Aug 16 - 07:29 PM
Backwoodsman 27 Aug 16 - 01:49 AM
Jack Blandiver 27 Aug 16 - 02:45 AM
Senoufou 27 Aug 16 - 03:59 AM
Murpholly 27 Aug 16 - 04:13 AM
Teribus 27 Aug 16 - 04:52 AM
Backwoodsman 27 Aug 16 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 27 Aug 16 - 04:56 AM
Vic Smith 27 Aug 16 - 06:05 AM
Megan L 27 Aug 16 - 06:23 AM
GUEST,Senoufou 27 Aug 16 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,Senoufou 27 Aug 16 - 06:34 AM
Vic Smith 27 Aug 16 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Senoufou 27 Aug 16 - 06:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 16 - 07:18 AM
Vic Smith 27 Aug 16 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,Senoufou 27 Aug 16 - 07:50 AM
Bonzo3legs 27 Aug 16 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Senoufou 27 Aug 16 - 09:28 AM
Bonzo3legs 27 Aug 16 - 09:37 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 16 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,ripov 27 Aug 16 - 03:29 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 27 Aug 16 - 03:49 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 27 Aug 16 - 03:50 PM
The Sandman 27 Aug 16 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Peter C 27 Aug 16 - 05:06 PM
Steve Shaw 27 Aug 16 - 08:57 PM
Jack Campin 27 Aug 16 - 09:14 PM
GUEST,pauperback 28 Aug 16 - 12:01 AM
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Subject: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 12:44 PM

According to the 'Shropshire Star':

"While groups who paint their faces black in the Border Morris tradition have said it has no racial connection, organisers have been approached by a group complaining about the practice.

The tradition dates back as much as 500 years and was used to disguise dancers so they would not be recognised.

The festival has never wished to cause offence to any person and as such, from 2017, we will no longer book sides that use full face black make up."

Full story here

Very bizarre and rather disappointing, I feel.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: leeneia
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 12:49 PM

Naw, it's simple common sense. If you want to disguise yourself, there are lots of ways to do it without adding to the tensions of an unhappy world.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 01:17 PM

This makes me hopping mad. Exactly who do they think will be 'offended'? Unless some black people actively object and say they're insulted (which of course they haven't) then why is it necessary to change a long-held tradition? There are border Morris sides with different colours on their faces (Red Leicester for example) but they too have long traditions of doing so.
My husband is black, as many of you already know. He always goes to the Morris festivals and has had his photo taken with many black-face sides. He thinks it's all absolutely super, and would be horrified if people thought he was offended!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Senoufou
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 01:24 PM

To prove my point, you can see 2 pics of him with two different sides, one blacked up, on my thread 'Sheringham Potty Festival'. He doesn't look offended does he??!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Henry Piper of Ottery
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 01:55 PM

I would be more sympathetic if a group representing Black people complained, but as usual it is a group of white middle class "liberals" who have chosen to object on behalf of others. There are far more dangerous and disturbing acts of racism happening in our society at present particularly since the "Brexit" vote. but these groups have little or nothing to say about this.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: RTim
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 02:10 PM

The Chair of the complaining group - FREsh, is NOT white!! So get all your facts right first.
Until John Kirkpatrick's Shropshire Bedlam's came into being in the early 1970's there were less than half a dozen teams Blacking Up. That team has now changed to wearing masks as a form of disguise. They are moving with the times, as have many other Border teams who now use a colour other than black.
Much else has changed with the times in the Tradition of Border Morris (and Molly Dancing) that makes it totally different from the Tradition as it was collected.
Also Border Morris does not have 500 year history.
Shrewsbury FF is just trying to encourage teams to use other forms of Disguise to replace Black Face.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 02:57 PM

The Chair of the complaining group - FREsh, is NOT white!!

Well, according to their website, the chair is a certain Peter Roscoe who looks pretty white to me...

Admittedly their site is somewhat out of date, so that may have changed.

Shrewsbury FF is just trying to encourage teams to use other forms of Disguise to replace Black Face

Come on, that's not really fair is it? Saying we won't book you unless you change your ways is hardly 'encouragement.' It's banning them, plain and simple.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 02:59 PM

Be honest at least Tim, admit it's political correctness.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: RTim
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 03:05 PM

My mistake - one of the board - Mr. Cunningham - is not white.
And Dave - No I don't think it political correctness.
It is something that has concerned many for awhile and has even had teams change their practice.
And I tell you - it is not going to go away.
All teams have to do is change the colour or wear masks - and there is no longer a problem.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,The unicornman
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 03:20 PM

I travel round the country watching Morris men and will be very afended if this is true


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 03:33 PM

Would anyone be offended if black dancers painted their faces white?


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 03:44 PM

It is for organisers who books acts to decide what is acceptable for their venue and for their programme.

Border does not have 500 years of tradition anymore than Cotswold does.

As someone said above, Shropshire Bedlams kick started the "revival" of, mostly bad, Border dance.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Psychomorris
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 04:02 PM

So lets take this political correctness, thin edge of a wedge further. No songs about killing. No political songs. No songs unless sung by a person from country of origin.This should also preclude non Irish persons from singing Irish songs. No bawdy songs because they can upset and cause offence. In fact no song which demeans or portrays anyone as being less than equal.
As far as I am aware the blacking up of faces was in keeping with workers of the land who generally had little access to water and spent a lot of time in the sun.Also those who worked in pits and mines. Some, such as my father, had very darkened skin as a result of years of outside work. Morris dancers and Mummers have maintained a Traditional approach which represents our cultural past. Shame on you Tim. But then many of the wider issues we face today in our Society, can be traced to people who show no PC backbone.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: RTim
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 04:09 PM

Psycho - you are well named - and you really don't know what you are talking about. It would be nice to know who you are rather than hiding behind you Avatar.

But you can believe what ever you want, and I assume you will.

Tim Radford (60 years dancer and follower)


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 04:18 PM

Ive always understood that 'blacking-up' was to disguise the identity of the wearer, nothing to do with black-skinned people.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Jeri
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 05:27 PM

Yank butting in here...
It's hard for me to see "blacking up" as relating to race. I always thought of it as chimney-sweep related, disguise-related. So no, it doesn't offend me -- on my behalf or anyone else's.

Good Soldier Schweik writes "Would anyone be offended if black dancers painted their faces white? "
Perhaps if white people had been slaves whose music was subsequently usurped by black people wearing white make-up at a time when white people were treated like second class citizens. Perhaps after that, some well-intentioned black person would be offended on behalf of the poor, voiceless whites and take it upon themselves to speak for them and demand the practice stop.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Senoufou
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 05:41 PM

I think black people are perfectly capable of making a complaint on their own behalf, without others doing it for them, which in its own way is rather disempowering. I also don't imagine for one minute that any black onlooker of border Morris has ever been insulted, offended or put out by the spectacle of blacked-up dancers.
Next we'll be hearing that the hobby horse offends bloody horses!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 06:51 PM

Equating 'black face' morris with ANY racist ideas is SO stupid -
the 'black face' tradition pre dates the Black Face Minstrel by at least a hundred years !

if a few of these PC pillocks did just a little research , life would be a lot simpler


!



the


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 06:57 PM

However blacked up, Morris Dancers never look in any way as if they are parodying black people. If they did, and were, the objection would be appropriate, but as it is it seems misplaced.

Still, green faces look just as good, until the little green men from Proxima Centauri turn up and object. Not worth making a fuss about it really. Traditions adjust.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 07:05 PM

As I said above, it does not matter what anyone thinks other than the people booking and paying the acts.

Personally, I do not believe there is much evidence of a long standing Border tradition and even less, before Shropshire Bedlams (BSB), of blackface.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Jeri
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 07:20 PM

Somebody actually PAYS Morris dancers???


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 26 Aug 16 - 07:29 PM

If free tickets for the festival for dancers and partners counts, then yes. Festivals are expensive these days.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 01:49 AM

I think Eliza's (Senoufou's) clear-thinking and common sense has, as usual, hit the nail squarely and firmly on the head.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 02:45 AM

the 'black face' tradition pre dates the Black Face Minstrel by at least a hundred years !

Whilst is is just about possible to allow for a non-racist reason why a bunch of ill-educated beer-soaked clod-hopping agricultural workers from darkest 18th century Shropshire would dance with blackened faces (and maybe even excuse if there were) for so-called educated people to do so in this day & age by way of revisionist reactionary cosplay and expect their non-racist folk doctoring to be taken seriously is an idiocy of the highest order.

if a few of these PC pillocks did just a little research , life would be a lot simpler

What we see today is in no way traditional practise but a particular fashion of a minority of revivalist folk-enthusiasts dating back no further than the 1970s.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 03:59 AM

'The Black and White Minstrels', on TV in the sixties (and very boring we youngsters thought it!) was indeed impersonating black Americans of the Deep South. It's nowadays quite rightly seen as offensive. But Border Morris dancers aren't in any way impersonating any race of people. It's no different to the Guisers in Scotland at New Year. They're blacked up but in no way trying to represent black or African people.
If an entire group of black folk rose up in a body and made strident complaints about border Morris, one would be only to eager to change things. Nobody wants to insult, mock or offend other races. But they haven't. And won't. They aren't in any way annoyed. We saw quite a few black people at Sheringham, including a lady from Ghana, who chatted to us. Obviously she was enjoying the event, and not smarting from the pain of watching border Morris in all their glory!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Murpholly
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 04:13 AM

Have the australians tried to stop their endigonous people painting their skins white for their tribal rituals?


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Teribus
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 04:52 AM

"Not worth making a fuss about it really. Traditions adjust."

Which of course is why they are "Traditions" eh Kevin?

Makes a bit of a nonsense of the phrase, "Well traditionally it is done this way". If tradition changes then whatever "it" is can be done however anybody likes it


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 04:52 AM

Whether or not one finds Border Morris's blacking up 'offensive' depends to a very great extent, I suspect, on whether one is a member of that strange bunch who actively seek to be 'offended' at every conceivable opportunity.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 04:56 AM

Quite easily solved, use green or blue face paint.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Vic Smith
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 06:05 AM

Took the very black Gambian kora player, Jali Sherriffo Konteh, to see morris teams after he has given the first of his concerts at Tenterden Folk Festival a few years back.
He asked me why some of the morris sides black their faces. I was a bit embarrassed but replied that it was to try to disguise themselves.
"Ah, yes." he said. "Do you remember that I took you see those Fula dancers at Busera when you were staying in my compound? They cover their faces in river mud for the same reason."
He was a bit quiet as we walked away, then he said, "Mr Smith....." which was always a clue that one of his feeble jokes was coming. "Look at your watch face.... it is black. Mine is white." We then collapsed laughing in one another's arms; a thing that happened frequently on his British tours.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Megan L
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 06:23 AM

What sickens me is when someone chooses to complain on behalf of a whole group of people whom they have never bothered even asking. People are individuals regardless of race creed colour or sexuality and should be treated as sentient beings able to make a complaint on their own behalf if they feel the need. To make a complaint on behalf of a group of people without asking each and every one of them is in itself a form of paternalistic racism which the British empire indulged in and apparently still does.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 06:26 AM

What a lovely story Vic! I know a few Gambians, and they're all smiley, jolly people.
There's a Morris side called Old Glory, who specialise in looking very sinister. They black up, wear lots of leaves and green stuff, and deliberately stare at the onlookers to disconcert them. It's brilliant. Needless to say, there are photos of my husband sitting with a group of them, all laughing their heads off.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 06:34 AM

Well said Megan! I agree with every word of your post!

Our local library refused to put on their noticeboard a small bit of paper advertising the local primary school's Nativity Play, giving times etc. I saw the article about the resulting fracas in the local newspaper, and asked about it when next choosing my books. The librarian maintained that it might 'offend any local Muslims'. My husband stood there grinning. (He's a Muslim) Had anyone asked some Muslims? No. Had any Muslims lodged a complaint? No. Later, there was a follow-up article in the paper by a group of Muslims from a mosque in Norwich, saying they would have had no objections whatsoever, and to please feel free to stick the notice on the noticeboard. But no-one did. The Edict had come from Norfolk County Council I presume, and their Word is Law.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Vic Smith
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 06:36 AM

Political Correctness..... generally speaking, I am in favour of it because it can draw a line under coarse stereotyping. How I hated all those Irish jokes that used to be so prevalent. They can seep into people's thinking and instill prejudices.
Sometimes, however, I think that it can go too far and in this thread the comment by Dick Miles when he writes Would anyone be offended if black dancers painted their faces white? which effectively was what was happening with the Fula dancers that I mentioned in my previous post. The post about the ritual face painting of native Australians is also relevant here.

Certainly political correctness does not seem to have reached The Gambia where I have been a regular visitor for 20 years. Often I am walking around with my friend, Lamin. He delights in taking me into compounds where I am not known. He will fling his arm around my shoulder and hug me tightly and introduce me as his brother. After all the puzzled faces develop, he will continue, "The only difference is - he was born during the day and I was born in the darkest part of the night!" Hoots of laughter and high fives all round! I'm not sure that I am entirely happy about this but I can't say that it feels unhealthy or wrong when it does it. He is a great joker and loves to hear people laughing and that is just one of the ways he does it.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 06:55 AM

I often got people calling out " Eh! Toubabe!" or "Toubabou!" ("Oi! White person!") when I was out and about in Senegal. I really liked it and always laughed. They'd even put their wrists next to mine to emphasise the contrast. This wasn't 'racist' at all, just commenting on a difference.

Our lovely Norfolk neighbour calls my husband his "lorng lorst brother", and hugs him. He then adds, "Ah bor, yew dornt know what colour the milkman wuz, dew yew?" My husband adores him.

But I do agree, Vic, some of the effects of Political Correctness have been very good. Demeaning jokes about women, the Irish (my mum was Irish) and mothers-in-law could be very hurtful, and I'm glad they aren't seen as funny nowadays.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 07:18 AM

We've got a friend from Ghana who always calls me "Pappa" and my wife "Mamma", in keeping with our relative ages.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Vic Smith
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 07:26 AM

" Eh! Toubabe!" or "Toubabou!" **
Oh yes! That is always what I am called initially in both Senegal & The Gambia and even when I am asked my name, they sometimes have difficulty with my name because there is no "V" sound in Manding. I was introduced to an old man once and he said, "That name is no good to me." I replied, "Well, I am the oldest son in my family." I was told "Ah! So your real name is Lamin!"
Both my wife and I are often greeted as "Tina" as they have no problem with her name. We have sometimes gone to West Africa with a friend whose surname is Shepherd and his accepted name became Tony Canterla (Manding for shepherd).


**Sometimes when I am called that, I reply, "Eh! Morfayou" (Black Person). Another call for hoots of laughter.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 07:50 AM

Ah Vic, I would so love to be in W Africa right now (sigh) My husband is in Abidjan at the moment, visiting his very elderly parents and enormous extended family. I'm so jealous.
I've only been to Banjul in Gambia, in transit for Casamance across the border. I've tried to learn a bit of Malinke, but my naughty husband teaches me rude phrases such as "Eh bo dah" (don't even ask, it's very rude)
I'm hoping to go to Adjame Nord (shanty district of Abidjan) next year. Can't wait!

(Sorry about this flagrant thread drift!)


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 09:22 AM

And yet it does seem odd that there are no objections to ladies morris sides wearing black stockings, and I dare say that many ladies present at the festival will be wearing those hideous black leggings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 09:28 AM

Haha Bonzo, you're being Leggist!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 09:37 AM

But not Adrian Leggist!!!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 01:48 PM

I haven't ever heard of any objections to anybody painting legs, or any other bits, for that matter. It's just faces. I think you could black up all over your body with no objection, so long as your face is left your natural colour- or green, red, purple. Or whatever suits.

I've always thought it's a shame weren't a range of different colurs, instead of the pretty limited range of pale to dark we do have. Green, blue, red...


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 03:29 PM

a little off thread - but as a newbie folkie I found it strange that few sides used blue face paint, as it's traditionally the Ancient Briton body colour.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 03:49 PM

Boycott Shrewsbury

Simples....

Obviously, it's wanting to become a folk festival for idiots...in my opinion, of course.

I've never heard anything so ridiculous in all my life.

What's next? Historical 'political correctness abuse' over miners who DARE to come out with their faces covered in coal dust?

After all, someone, somewhere, who is just loopy enough will find this racist/sexist/blackist/colourist, surely?


"Lizzie, you can't use the word 'loopy' any longer, nor DARE to suggest that there are folks who are thus, because they've brought in all the new rules which gives them orgasmic smilies over getting the majority to bend to their bizarre and troubled wishes"

Shame on Shrewsbury for being so utterly daft.

They *should* have said "Bugger off and research the history of Morris Dancing, then, come back to us and apologize for being so ignorant that you don't even know the history of what you are watching."


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 03:50 PM

"Obviously, it's a folk festival for idiots...in my opinion, of course."

Correction to the above:

Obviously, it's WANTING to become a folk festival for idiots...in my opinion, of course.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 04:19 PM

I agree with Vic Smith when he said
"Political Correctness..... generally speaking, I am in favour of it because it can draw a line under coarse stereotyping. How I hated all those Irish jokes that used to be so prevalent. They can seep into people's thinking and instill prejudices."


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,Peter C
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 05:06 PM

Glos Folk was last year accused of being 'institutionally racist' (because I refused to list an African Drumming Workshop in our folk diary) Instead of a knee jerk reaction, which is what I believe has happened here with Shrewsbury FF (I may be wrong)I got the local Equalities Officer with the County Voluntary Orgs Group to check my reasons, and our policies etc. and got a clean bill of health. Just because some one complains it is not always necessary to make great changes!


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 08:57 PM

Well blacking up may well have started as a means of disguise. And gay once meant happy and queer meant the way you felt after too much stout last night. Hanging on to blacking is as futile as hanging on to those meanings of gay and queer. These days, it means something rather unpleasantly Black And White Minstrels-ish at best. You can't get away from that. While you're dancing you may well be feeling that you're hanging on to an ancient tradition, but it's a good bet that most of the punters watching you will think you're merely imitating those black chappies. I suppose the Farageophiles among them might actually approve. And, after all, if you blacked up in order to confuse your employer, you did it because, well, black people all look the same...don't they??

You don't have to do it. Move on. Use woad or something. Don't be pig-headed.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 09:14 PM

We haven't heard from the festival organizers yet. Maybe their motives are not quite as they might seem.

From other threads here about "blacking up", it is clear that some of the people who do it (though only a small minority) are in fact fascists who see it as a calculated insult to people of African origin. Whether the insult actually gets through is beside the point: it's what the racists intend. And a much larger group of racists will be cheering from the sidelines while not dancing themselves; we have already had people in this thread using Daily-Mail-speak cliches about "political correctness".

So, putting a stop to the practice has nothing to do with its actual offensiveness to people of African origin. It's to do with its status as a shibboleth among white supremacists. The festival organizers could well not be trying to be inoffensive - they could equally well have the conscious intention of being as offensive as possible to those racists who want to hijack English folk culture to serve their agenda. In which case, more power to their elbow. Racist cunts deserve to be pissed on. Though it would be better if the festival were explicit about what they were doing and if they named and shamed the specific people whose party they were trying to spoil.


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Subject: RE: Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris
From: GUEST,pauperback
Date: 28 Aug 16 - 12:01 AM

Thank G_d I missed out on college...
https://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2015/10/12/individual-racism-alive-and-well/


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