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

Birmingham | News | Published:

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

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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