Black Peter is a Dutch elf-like figure that appears weeks before Christmas in The Netherlands. He serves as a sidekick for his leader, Sinterklass. He sings and dances and plays with the children when he appears. But despite his playfulness, Black Peter is usually a white man in black face, appearing to be half-witted; a vision that blacks and immigrants in Amsterdam are totally against. Stories vary on where Black Peter came from, but some say he was a thankful freed slave.
Black Peter arrives on a boat from Madrid, Spain bearing candy for the children. It is Black Peter’s job to work as a page for SinterKlaas, listening at the chimneys for the good and bad children. He carries a rod and a sack to take the bad children away. Black Peter is black-faced, dressed in colorful Renaissance attire with a feather in his cap, gold jewelry and red lips.
The idea of Black Peter was said to have come from several sources. First was the mythical God named Wodan. Wodan flew through the air on his white horse, accompanied by two black ravens, Huginn and Munnin. The Ravens would report back to Wodan on the behavior of the mortals, like Black Peter would for SinterKlaas. The other idea was that Black Peter was a devil slave of SinterKlaas, forced to work for him. Some say that Black Peter was a slave freed by SinterKlaas, who works for him in gratitude. Others say he was black from chimney soot.
Also in more recent years, protests became more of an urgency when some of the Dutch began wearing afro wigs, gold jewelry and red lipstick to represent Black Peter. Tourists and others have found the character offensive. Attempts were made to give Black Peter a multicolored face, but resistance brought black face back into the celebration. Last year, controversy over Black Peter caused the huge celebration in Western Canada to be cancelled for the first time in 26 years.
At a recent parade in Amsterdam, protestors held signs that said “Free Pete.” One of the protestors, Quinsy Gario, had been arrested in years past, after wearing a shirt that said “Black Peter is Racist.” Both sides of the argument have protested, even on Facebook. Those against Black Peter argue that only the Netherlands has supported this type of racism. Anywhere else in the world, Black Peter would not be allowed.
There has been little government movement as a result of the protests, although the Mayor of Amsterdam wrote to the city council and said “[Black Peter] can potentially result in manifestations of racism — for example if black-skinned people are called Black Peter in everyday life…..the first matter of importance is gradualness.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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