The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161296   Message #3834522
Posted By: Noreen
24-Jan-17 - 11:03 AM
Thread Name: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
I feel rather grubby now, having waded through the last chunk of this thread.

It would be lovely if, when you were carrying on contributing to such a thread over several days, you could take the time to actually get to know something about the subject- which several posting here admit they don't.

I take particular exception to punkfolkrocker's repeated jibes at the supposed motivation of the morris sides dancing out in Birmingham:

How many may be deliberately, knowingly, provocatively participating in this traditional dance with the added intention & motivation of winding up the 'lefty liberal PC Brigade' and stirring up racial disharmony at a time of escalating divisive cultural tensions...???


...and accept the consequences when they inadvertently [..maybe even, deliberately...???] antagonise and offend........

This says more about the way you see the world, pfr, than anything else. Anyone even thinking this has obviously never spent any time in morris circles or ever met a morris dancer (they're not all men, you know).
As with folkies in general, all morris dancers of all persuasions that I have met, played and danced with, are inclusive, largely apolitical and just wanting to share our traditions with others while having a good time, and are horrified by recent upset stirred up by others for their own ends.

In years of dancing out blacked-up we have never once had anyone complain or take offence- as Senoufou quoted her (very black) husband saying "if anyone thinks they're trying to look like me, they need their eyes testing!" (paraphrased)
People often ask about the history and why we do it of course, but only in an interested way, not because they are offended in the slightest.

Morris dancers have been dancing out on Plough Monday as on other significant days of the year for a very long time, going into the local towns to spread the fun and entertain. This applies to Birmingham too, where the local side are based who invited Alvechurch and many other sides to dance with them.
Birmingham has changed a lot of course over the years, but us traditionalists still like to remind others of the phases of the year by dancing out, as has always been done.

You imply this was done deliberately now to stir up trouble, which could not be further from the truth.

You hit the nail on the head with your earlier suggestion:

What if a vociferous minority of political agenda driven zealots are exploiting morris as a vehicle for stirring up media attention and racial disharmony...???

Unfortunately that is our world, today.