Home / National News / MLK Black Face Causes Stir At School


(DENVER) — A second grader was removed from school by his parents after the principal objected to him showing up in black face to do a presentation on the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Sean King had a vision for his project, part of “Wax Museum Day” at Meridian Ranch Elementary School in Peyton, Colo., said his mother Michelle King-Roca.

“He said, ‘Mom, I want to wear a black suit because that’s what he wore, a black tie, a white shirt and also I want to do my face black and wear a mustache,” she told ABC affiliate KRDO.

As parents and their pint-sized historical figures waited to file into a classroom on Wednesday, the principal asked King-Roca to remove her son’s make-up, she said.

Instead, she ignored the request and waited for Sean’s presentation.

King-Roca said she was then called to the principal’s office where she, her husband and Sean had a discussion with three school officials. Unsatisfied with the situation, King-Roca pulled her son out of school for the day.

School officials could not be reached for comment, but blackface has historically been used by minstrel shows and burlesque for offensive caricatures of black people.

School officials told KRDO the principal was just doing her job.

“When other students are offended by something, it is the principal’s role that the educational environment is safe for all students,” said school spokesperson Stephanie Meredith.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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