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"Blackfacing": Black People Iniciative criticized star singers in Germany

BERLIN. The Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland ("Black People in Germany Iniciative") has criticized that children paint their faces black when they collect donations on January 6 as star singers. "Black people are reduced to their skin color and external characteristics," said the organization's spokesman, Tahir Della, the dpa news agency.

For him, the make-up is racist “blackfacing”. The tradition is meant well, but ignore how it affects others. It was out of date to want to represent otherness at all.

The children's missionary “Die Sternsinger” emphasized that the children should not use make-up for racist reasons. “Blackfacing” emerged as a racially motivated form of representation in the United States in the 19th century. The Catholic Missionaries distance themselves from this.

"The black king stood for Africa"
In any case, there are fewer and fewer cases in Germany in which one of the star singers, who represent the Three Wise Men, is painted black. "The reasons for this are often simple: Many children find the make-up uncomfortable or cannot tolerate it, others also want to be recognized in photos," said the spokesman for the children's mission, Thomas Römer.

According to the Romans, the three kings from the Bible should represent the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. "The black king stood for Africa."

There are similar allegations in the Netherlands
On January 6th the star singers collect donations for needy children every year. Children dressed as the Three Kings and moved from house to house for the first time in 1959. This year the campaign is under the motto "Peace! In Lebanon and worldwide."

In the past, racism allegations in the case of the Black Pete had occurred in the Netherlands. Santa's assistant is depicted there as a black man.

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