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Posted: October 31, 2017

Blackface Halloween costume sparks protests; worker refuses to apologize


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By Brittney Donovan, ActionNewsJax.com

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. —

A restaurant worker whose blackface costume sparked a protest in St. Augustine, Fla., on Tuesday said she will not apologize for the racial insensitivity.

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The woman said she painted her face black as part of an 'Aunt Jemima' costume she wore to the Bunnery Bakery & Cafe for Halloween.

Students at Flagler College took offense at the costume and organized a protest outside the restaurant.

An owner of the cafe addressed the crowd outside the restaurant, saying the worker had washed the makeup off her face after a confrontation with Flagler students at the bakery.

She said the employee did not mean to offend anyone.

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But the woman who wore the costume sent Action News Jax a statement indicating she didn’t understand why the costume was offensive to some:

"It was a genuine costume, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Color is not something that exists in my life. I come from a very colorful family and I love all the same. I will not apologize for my costume, there was nothing wrong with my actions in the choice of my costume. I don't understand how this turned into a racial thing. Black face is not something I expected with trying to just dress up for my job on Halloween. Instead of protesting something that is not affecting people directly, why don't we worry about the real issues and not ones that don't matter."

The group of protesters outside the restaurant held signs and chanted, "Blackface is not OK."

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Blackface, which originated in racist ministrel shows, is offensive to African-Americans because of the connotations of violence and degradation associated with it.


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