Spoken word artist opens up conversation about blackface

Balakumar performed her spoken word poem, “Dear Halloweeners and Costume Seekers” at this year’s Black History Month opening ceremony in Kingston. 
Supplied by Nirosha Balakumar

In 2005, a white Queens student painted her face black for a Miss Ethiopia Halloween costume.

After a picture of her circulated online, outrage ensued, but it still seems that a story arises every October about someone else donning blackface.

Nirosha Balakumar, ArtSci 19, was drawn to the issue after reading about the Queens incident in a Journal article, Race, racism and blackface. When an assignment in her Gender Studies course required her to tackle a topic of intersectionality, Balakumar wrote a spokenword poem entitled, Dear Halloweeners and Costume Seekers

Read more at QJLongform.com.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.