Analysis Of ' The Mlk Black Party ' By F. Martin Luther King Jr.

867 Words Sep 28th, 2014 4 Pages
This past February, the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Arizona State University celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by throwing a party dubbed as the “MLK Black Party.” Attendees dressed as they believed a stereotypical black male would: basketball jerseys, baggy basketball shorts, and snapbacks. They also made watermelon cups, and posed for pictures while throwing up gang signs. Some partygoers posted group photos on Instagram, using hashtags such as #myboymartin, #blackoutformlk, and #ihaveadream. (The Huffington Post, January 2014) Tau Kappa Epsilon’s paradoxical “MLK Black Party” exemplifies that racism, although it has in some ways changed form, persists extensively today. To begin, some manifestations of racism have not changed in the past century. According to Remembering Jim Crow by American Radio Works, minstrels during the 20th century painted their faces black and performed to a song entitled Jump Jim Crow. The main proponent of these performances was Thomas “Daddy” Rice, a white minstrel that “used burnt cork to blacken his face[…]dressed himself in the garment of a beggar[…] and then[…]imitated the dancing, singing, and demeanor generally described to Negro character” (American Radio Works, November 2001). Their over-the-top imitation of societally generated stereotypes closely resembles the Tau Kappa Epsilon party. Similar to the minstrels of the 20th century, college students one hundred years later dressed up and demeaned the same racial group with…

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