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.”
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30