The founding National Association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs

Does Black Face Paint Matter?

Does Black Face Paint Matter?

Does Black Face Paint Matter?

We are sure all of our members will be well aware of the tragic murder of George Floyd and the breadth of the protests demanding that black lives are truly valued. They are a realisation not only of anger at was has gone wrong, but they also offer an opportunity for change to be made possible.

Social media has already evidenced the concern  that the vexed issue of blacking up is seen as a manifestation of part of the problem, and perhaps it is an appropriate time for us to ask again, “Does black face paint matter?”

The Morris Ring is not a regulator or governing body. It is for sides to decide themselves how they wish to perform. However, clubs will need to clearly understand why they are using black face paint, and be open about why they are performing using it with their audience, local communities, national press and social media. They must also be ready to defend their arguments if challenged, which may seem weaker in the light of current events.

To aid your reflections we would remind you of the recent advice we gave in March - Notice to Membership re use of black face make-up

Pete Simpson

Squire of the Morris Ring