A TEACHER at a school in the Andalusian province of Cordoba has been widely criticised online after a video circulated in which she appeared in blackface and using an exaggerated accent to teach her students about Africa.
‘Hello friends, my name is Bimba and I come from Africa,’ the teacher from the Catholic school Trinidad Sansueña says at the start of the recording, in which she appears next to a stuffed monkey and with a picture of the African savannah as a backdrop.
‘In Africa people don’t have white faces, they have faces like mine,’ the teacher continues. ‘Africa also has a lot of animals,’ she adds, picking up the monkey, which she calls ‘Monolo’.
The recording was denounced by an independent and ‘anti-racist’ digital media outlet called Afrofeminas, which was created in 2014 by ‘a Black Cuban and Spanish woman’, according to its website.
‘The Trinidad Sansueña school in Cordoba allows these racist parodies to show its students what Kenya and Africa is,’ Afrofeminas wrote on an Instagram post featuring the video. ‘This kind of thing encourages discrimination, racism and perpetuates a stereotyped and mistaken image of Africa and what is African.’
The headteacher of the school, Francisco Jose Morilla, has since apologised for the video. ‘At no time did we want to offend anyone,’ he said, according to online daily El Diario.
Morilla added that he would have liked Afrofeminas to have contacted him before denouncing the incident, ‘because the person who made the video is anything but racist’.
Afrofeminas, meanwhile, pointed out that this is not the first time that the school has displayed behaviour that could be considered racist. On its Instagram account are photos of white people in blackface for the occasion of King’s Day.
The tradition of black make-up being worn when dressing up as one of the Three Wise Men has faced increasing opposition in recent years in Spain, but the practice still persists.
In some towns, such as Alcoy in Valencia, hundreds of ‘pages’ also wear blackface. Afrofeminas has called in the past for this particular event to be boycotted.