Wednesday, October 23, 2013

11521: Out Of Africa—And Out Of Mind.

From The New York Daily News...

Woman slammed for ‘Africa themed’ party photos showing guests painted black, wearing jungle costumes

The woman, identified only as Olivia, posted several pics from the party to Facebook showing guests in offensive and cartoonish costumes, including black paint, tribal makeup and animal print loincloths.

By Philip Caulfield / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

An Australian woman is being skewered online for hosting an “African themed” 21st birthday party featuring guests in blackface and cartoonish jungle costumes.

The woman, identified only as Olivia, posted several insensitive pics from the party to Facebook in September, but they went viral after Tumblr user Black in Asia spotted them and reposted them last week.

Guests at the bash partied in black or brown body paint, George of the Jungle-style costumes and cheetah-print loincloths, the photos showed.

Others wore dreadlock wigs, tribal-style paint and other mock-traditional garb.

One guest inexplicably donned a hooded Klu Klux Klan costume.

“Attendees were all asked to wear ‘African themed’ clothing to depict the continent and this is what resulted… blackface, elephant and gorilla costumes, warpaint, native American headdresses (?!) and more…. I’m at a loss for words,” Tumblr user Black in Asia wrote.

“And yes, this is from 2013.”

Jezebel called the pics “revolting and offensive.”

The young woman later took to Tumblr to defend herself.

“It was my ‘African themed’ party and it was honestly made that theme because I have always wanted to go to Africa (to teach english) but haven’t made it there yet,” she wrote.

“In no way was this party intended to hurt anyones (sic) feelings or upset anyone at all.”

“However, some guest did decide to paint themselves, although this was in no way my intention or encouraged in the slightest. I understand that this has offended some people and I have no idea how these photos have even been seen, they were simply put on facebook for my guests to see the photos of themselves,” she wrote.

She later described a friend from Mauritius, an island nation off Africa’s eastern coast, who painted himself white for the party but wasn’t pictured in Black In Asia’s post.

She insisted that no one was offended by his costume choice.

She also denied Black in Asia’s assertion that she “flatly refused” to take the pics down after someone complained.

“Also, I have NEVER been asked to take these photos down, however if I had of course I would have done so, as I had no idea that anyone other than friends and guests could see these photos…” she wrote.

“For those who know me at all you would know the last thing in the world I would want to do would be to offend people.”

Her Facebook and other social media accounts have since been deleted, reported.

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