Uproar Over Blackface at Southern Miss

Six University of Mississippi sorority students were placed on probation following racially insensitive actions that took place at a 1980s themed costume party a week ago. The young women, members of Phi Mu Sorority, Inc., dressed in blackface to portray themselves as the Huxtable family from “The Cosby Show.”

Originating in the 19th century, Blackface was theatrical makeup used during Minstrel shows, in which actors promoted racial stereotypes as a form of entertainment.

Joe Paul, vice president of student affairs, told the Huffington Post executive officers of Phi Mu and the women involved met with a group of African-American students leaders at the university.

Phi Mu National President Kris Bridges says that the matter is being investigated and that more disciplinary action could follow. She says that the local chapter will also sponsor a campus wide program on diversity appreciation.

Photo is courtesy of Ashton E. Pittman, who is a Journalism student at the University of Southern Mississippi. Click here to read Pittman’s piece “The Photo That Started the Southern Miss ‘Blackface’ Uproar.”

Read more about Blackface Minstrelsy on PBS here

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