Blackface has reared its ugly head again, this time in the town of Sullivan, Mo. some 60 miles outside of St. Louis. A team of all-white high school powderpuff football players donned blackface, and the school’s principal stated that the girls meant nothing racist about the getup.
Photos of the act spread by way of Facebook and as reported by The Riverfront Times, Sullivan High School principal Jennifer Schmidt was admittedly taken aback at first but changed her tune immediately after.
More from The Riverfront Times:
When a dozen teen girls in blackface ran onto the Sullivan High School football field November 5 for a powderpuff game, Jennifer Schmidt recalls her gut reaction as, “Oh my gosh.
“And then I thought, ‘Oh, they don’t mean anything by it. Just let it go. No one thinks anything of it.’ I didn’t think anyone did,” says Schmidt, the principal of Sullivan High School. “Evidently, someone did.”
Evidently indeed. Photos taken during the game show twelve members of the senior class wearing dour expressions beneath full-blown blackface, and someone at the game shared those photos on Facebook. The reactions to the photos have been rippling within the small town of Sullivan (60 miles southwest of St. Louis) ever since.
The girls, says Schmidt, have been “very embarrassed and shocked at some of the responses they’ve gotten, because I think some people had some stuff on Facebook and got the wrong intention.”
What makes Principal’s Schmidt’s statement especially troubling is the lack of accountability for the blackface act given its long-running racist history. And while the powderpuff players may have had intentions of intimidating the opposing team, it was probably a poor choice given the explosive nature of the racially-charged case regarding slain Black teen Michael “Mike” Brown happening right in their back yards.
Hit the flip to see photos of the Sullivan High School powderpuff team in blackface.