Morris dancers with blackened faces heckled in Birmingham - what do you think? (vote in our poll)

A Black Country morris dancer has described the actions of people who heckled a group of dancers with blackened faces as ‘unacceptable’.

Morris Dancers with blackened faces in Birmingham city centre were heckled. Picture courtesy of B4 Parking

The dancers from Alvechurch were threatened by a group of spectators during performances they put on in Birmingham city centre on Saturday, which came in front of shoppers.

The dancers blackened their faces as part of the Border Morris tradition.

But they faced abuse from some people, who were accusing them of being racists during the performance.

Dave Jefferyo is the treasurer at Sedgley Morris Dancers.

He was also in the city centre performing on the day, but was not present when the alleged abuse took place.

Mr Jeffery said: “I can understand some people may think it is offensive – but this is an English tradition. The blackened faces are to provide a disguise, it has nothing to do with race.

“But what happened was unacceptable.”

The Alvechurch dancers were one of several morris groups in the city on the day, celebrating Plough Monday.

The event marks the start of the agricultural year.

Mr Jeffery said his group, which do the Border Morris dance, do not face common disruptions when performing.

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Comments for: "Morris dancers with blackened faces heckled in Birmingham - what do you think? (vote in our poll)"


Actually it was more than heckling. There were 2 actual assaults took place during the short clip I saw. A hat knocked off which is an assault and an arm across a neck which is an assault. However don't hold your breath for any police action , they were also conspicuous by their absence during the incident.What a surprise that was. Once again a few retards spoil the enjoyment of the good British people.

Who cares what you think

What next, soldiers heckled for blacking up, get a life


The problem today is when one culture swamps another! This is what's happening with the British culture.

British Culture will be confined to the history books and will be viewed as a reference.

the dog

So what are you going to do next at the e and s have a poll about soldiers blacking out there faces being racists.

You reporters at e and s need to get a grip instead of stiring racial hatred.

No chance

the dog: So no more reports about scarfs being pulled from Muslim women then?

Who cares what you think

Spot on No chance, but I guess the dog would be screeching waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacist

the dog

People have left the same comments so why do I get not one but two village's on me!


This will continue be a problem when different cultures mix. Apparently the blacking of faces has been a feature of this practice since the middle ages and has nothing at all to do with race. The question then arises as to whether an indigenous historical event continues or ceases, purely to accommodate those who take exception to the practice despite being incorrect in their conclusion.

What should be done with other practices which may cause offence?

A man dressing as a dame in pantomime - disrespectful to women

Adverts on a billboard opposite a mosque showing women in bras and panties advertising ladies underwear - religious sensitivities.

Grouse shooting - offensive to anti blood sports supporters

It appears we have a problem where offence is taken where non is intended or even contemplated and conclusions drawn about activities which are incorrect.


I would like to see Eddie Murphy banned from whitening his face as in 'Coming to America'. I find this hugely offensive.


Illiberal Liberals showing their ignorance and narrow minded hatred for the traditions of our country,yet they bend over backwards to accept the traditions of other races/religions.


I went past them on Saturday, no trouble at that point but Birmingham being Birmingham, there is always somebody looking to take offence and sure enough some uneducated morons had a go.

No doubt the trouble makers will be let off by the usual super lax West Midland Police.


Yet more of the traditional culture of this country that is apparently wrong.

Can we get other cultures to stop marrying off 12 year olds, or making children work in factories!


Morris dancing goes back to the mid 1400s and the blackening of the faces actually depict the men who had worked underground down the mines,they were celebrating a dance of life and freedom,it has nothing at all to do with racism,and everything to do with tradition,it seems the race card is played too freely when ignorance reins surpreme ....we are educated to allow others to have their traditions in this country but it seems we ourselves can not have our very strange that has become


Yep, in one village, in wales. Not alvechurch, not birmingham, it not their tradition at all. By your logic, I can dress up in stereotypical scotsman gear, claim it as my own tradition, and anyone who disagrees is a loony leftie scum. right?


It would be interesting if it was decided to show an episode of the Black and white Minstrel show how that would go down.


If white folk blacking up to look like black folk was still acceptable then we would still have the bloody awful Black and White Minstrel Show on TV, so I'm against us white folk blacking up and making it acceptable in any way as I don't want that bloody awful TV show to return at any price.

Fingerache Philip

I don't think it should be banned but having said that; I can understand why it would offend people.

It's not that different to golliwogs and the black and white minstrels if you think about it, is it?


It's completely different.

People dressing up as golliwogs or one of the Minstrels is rightly offensive as it portrays an archaic, offensive and cartoonish stereotype of an early century black person.

The 'blacking up' of Morris dancers is nothing to do with black stereotypes and has no connection with race at all.


The metropolitan conurbations are a lost cause now, you only have to look at Rotherham, Halifax, Huddersfield etc.


Blacked Faces not allowed at Shrewsbury Folk Festival


Bit stupid of the Morris Dancers really.Birmingham as long been took over by the ethnic community.Its a case of whites going to Birmingham remembering the old maxim.When in Rome etc.


Violent, baying mob throws their rattles out the pram when they can't get their own way. Most people, from right across the social spectrum, clearly didn't have the time of day for their nonsense.


Continuing from my previous post, some ethnic minorities have taken against common words and phrases as being racist based on misinformation passed down, usually via the internet. For example:

Nitty-Gritty This has been variously stated as referring to slave ships. One explanation is that the crew went into the hold after the slaves had been offloaded to clean. The nitty-gritty was said to be the dirt remaining when the slaves had gone. Another explanation is the term refers to the raping of slave women. Recent investigations have revealed that the term is not mentioned in any documents of the slave era, the first use of the word is to be found in an American publication of 1930.

Picnic This is supposed to refer to the lynching of slaves. The pic is picking a slave and nic is the Southern American term for the "n" word. In fact it is a derivation from the 17th century French word. In a 1692 dictionary there is piquenique meaning a social event.

It is regrettable that ethnic minorities sometimes don't get the facts straight before they take offence.


I heard a Muslim bloke on the radio this morning who is blind and his family and friends wouldn't let him have a guide dog because it's against their religion something to do with the saliva, how ridiculous my goodness me get a grip !


Personally I can't see what all the fuss is about. If you don't like it don't watch simply walk by.

You can choose to be offended and even though I didn't like the black and white minstrel show it never offended me in the slightest.

My father passed away many years ago but I often wonder what he and his generation would make of all this nonsense with people being offended so easily.

In his time people just got on with it, made the best of things and didn't consider this mamby pamby rubbish.


So this tradition offends some members of our community....tuff....there are many things that have been adopted in my country since WW2 mainly that I find particularly offensive but I am forced to live with them. If you don't like our way of life........go and live somewhere else that you do !.

Ye Olde South Bank

When harmless Morris dancers are singled out for abuse by certain ignorant passers-by, you know there's really no hope, nor place, for traditional, English culture.


The country has changed beyond all recognition to accommodate the 'minority' but feel content in the knowledge that they would do the same in their motherland should we wish to change their custom.......


We have laws which force us to tolerate and to respect the cultures and customs of those who choose to live here but the tolerance and respect only ever flows one way.

It's high time that ethnic minorities began to respect and to tolerate the customs and culture of the majority of the population.


So a previously forgotten tradition of one tiny welsh village is suddenly the culture of the "majority of the population" is it? Or are you just appropriating this so-called tradition because you're a feeble minded racist?


Let's have the 6 ok news taken off and have Alf garnert in love thy neighbour, just to give them something to moan about.

Olly the cat

Nobody on here has mentioned the origins of morris dancing. It is a corruption of the old English name for Moorish dancing, named after the Moors, who originated in Maghreb in North Africa. They were of Arabic origin, and had dark skins. They followed the Islamic religion, and were dominant in Europe, especially Spain, in medieval times. As I said, it is a muslim traditional form of dance, and was only adopted as an English tradition after the Moors were expelled from Europe.


I wonder what the tolerance level would be if European people wished to sell pork products in Pakistan or beef products in India?


How is that moronic comment even relevant? What would the tolerance level be if Indonesian people wished to sell dog and cat meat in the UK?

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