Justice

"Nutella Blackface" Is the Most Racist and Wasteful Thing You'll See This Week

February 9th 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

A 24-year-old Black woman from London is gaining immense praise for her powerful social media response to a man who mocked her graduation photo with a "Nutella Blackface" picture.

Last fall, Dream Nation editor-in-chief Tobi Rachel Akingbade, posted a graduation photo of herself on Twitter, stating that she faced a lot of hardships on the road to academic success:

Akingbade told BuzzFeed News that trolls mercilessly made fun of her tweet after she initially uploaded the photo, but that she ignored their remarks at the time.

Last week, however, she could not stay silent when she noticed that a user under the handle @lmaosimon tweeted a parody of her post, including an image of a man wearing "Nutella Blackface." The parody tweet has since been removed, but Akingbade captured the image via screenshot and shared it with her followers several days ago. The response to the blackface image was intense:

Nutella Blackface

Many people backed Akingbade on social media for calling out the picture.

Akingbade also received a positive reaction to her open letter to the culprit on Medium. In the post, she wrote that the offensive image brought her to tears at work and that it's never acceptable to do blackface:

"Blackface is not cool during Halloween and it’s not cool in February. Did you not know that you veered into racism when you turned me into an object of ridicule using blackface? Did you not know that blackface is a form of entertainment used to dehumanize black people so they would continue to view themselves as slaves and feel less-than-human. This is why I cried. Did you not know that what you did sits at the root of so much of the cultural contempt that has been used to oppress and stigmatise my people for centuries? Before you ask, it’s impossible to separate blackface from it’s history, if you choose to wear it or use it, you are oppressing an entire race."

She wrapped up the piece by noting that she just got word that the user apologized on Twitter, adding that she believed he only said sorry after facing lots of criticism from others online.

"Nutella Blackface, I acknowledge the fact that just before I hit publish on this article you apologized to me," she wrote. "Your apology came after hundreds of twitter users reported you to Twitter, dragged you across the timeline and threatened to contact your work place. Isn’t solidarity such a beautiful thing?"

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