... the other Black experience

'Zwarte Piet' Black Face Tradition in The Netherlands: Time To Stop The Madness?

'Zwarte Piet' basically amounts to a Black Face tradition in the Netherlands. Is it time to stop the madness?
Filmmaker Shantrelle P. Lewis wants to document this and ask questions in a documentary. The project's Kickstarter page explains:
"According to folklore, Sinterklaas arrives in the Netherlands via steamship every November, rides into town on his horse, and is assisted by his helper Zwarte Piet, which literally translates to “Black Peter.”
Every holiday season, hundreds of Dutch citizens dress up as Sinterklaas’ helpers by blackening their faces, reddening their lips, donning afro wigs, and wearing bright, colorful costumes with gold “creole” earrings.
Black Pete, Zwarte Piet: The Documentary explores both sides of the tradition - and everything in between. Who seeks to change the tradition? Who seeks to maintain it? And why? The film features interviews of Dutch citizens, historians, scholars, activists, artists, and members of the general community. The film also explores the representation of Black people and the Black body in Dutch popular culture and how these images affect the lives of people of African descent on a day-to-day basis."
Being that the Netherlands largely participated in the Transatlantic slave trade and that many people in the Netherlands are offended by this tradition, some think it's time to stop the madness.

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Tags: Black, Face, Netherlands, Piet, The, Tradition, Zwarte


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Comment by Baam Bada on February 21, 2013 at 10:09am

Thanks for sharing but this is some real disappointing shit!!!!!

Comment by Jennifer on February 20, 2013 at 4:02pm

Pretty messed up story. I'd love to see the documentary though. I'll share where I can.

Comment by Andrea Hayes on February 19, 2013 at 12:35pm

I live in Barranquilla, Colombia and you see the same thing for Carnaval. Even Black people put on black face...and they aren't offended if white people do it. At the same time, you see a lot more interracial dating and kids of all races play and grow up together. Not suggesting that racism doesn't exist here...but it's definitely very interesting. 

Comment by T.E.N.D.E.R.NOIZE on February 13, 2013 at 5:06pm
Are kidding me? Really! Can't believe it!
Comment by Mamadoc on February 13, 2013 at 2:07pm

I'm definitely interested in seeing this one and hearing the interviews.

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