Community Activists to Protest Blackface Minstrel Show in West Hollywood
See it and hear it for yourself:
12 Days of Kwanzaa
Community Activists including:
The SCLC of Greater Los Angeles
L.A. Urban Policy Roundtable
In the Meantime Men's Group
Youth Adovocay Organization
Out & About
South Bay Chapter Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Protest Against The Factory Nightclub in West Hollywood for Scheduling Blackface Minstrel Show During Black History Month and Refusing to Cancel Show After Outcry from Community
Friday, January 26, 2007
The Factory Nightclub
652 N. La Peer Dr. West Hollywood, CA 90069
Located between Melrose Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd.
1 block west of Robertson Blvd.
Suggested parking for protest participants is at
West Hollywood Park or the Pacific Design Center
• Go Greyhound
• Who Is my Baby's Daddy?
• Brownbakeded Beans
• Ebonics Airwaves
652 N. La Peer Drive West Hollywood, CA 90069
LOS ANGELES – Community activists in Los Angeles will hold a protest outside of the West Hollywood nightclub The Factory in response to its refusal to cancel the performance of a white gay comedian who performs in blackface and promotes negative stereotypes of Blacks.
Charles Knipp describes his character Shirley Q. Liquor as an inarticulate Black woman on welfare with 19 kids. Through his character, he promotes the idea that Black women are on welfare, living in the projects, illiterate, shoplifting sexually promiscuous mothers who don't know who their children's fathers are, alcoholics, and drug addicts while in blackface. In addition, he mocks the African American holiday Kwanzaa and in a skit entitled "Who Is My Baby Daddy," Knipp likens sexually transmitted diseases to traditional African American names.
Reverend Eric P. Lee, executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles states, "Race relations in this country have historically been derogatory, disrespectful, and denigrating towards African Americans. In light of the race based crimes increasing in Los Angeles, it is extremely poor judgment by the ownership and management of The Factory to promote this public display of bigotry.
"Charles Knipp's character is an insult to African Americans everywhere," commented protest organizer Jasmyne Cannick. "Aside from the content of the show, the fact that he uses blackface just takes it over the line. The Factory is being irresponsible in promoting an artist like Knipp, and especially during Black History Month."
"There's nothing entertaining, funny, or endearing in promoting deeply insulting and dangerous racial stereotypes," said Earl Hutchinson, President of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable. "Charles Knipp's (aka Shirley Q. Liquor) blackface routine does just that. The Factory has so far refused to do the right thing and cancel his racially offensive show. The cancellation would send a firm message that bigotry under the guise of humor will not be tolerated. The club's gutless refusal and Knipp's appearance must be swiftly and loudly repudiated by any and all who believe in racial fairness and justice. The demand must be that Knipp cancel his act and apologize."
"Four hundred years of false images have led to misrepresentation of Black people," commented Ayuko Babu, director of the Pan African Film and Arts Festival. "This madness has got to stop."
"People will do whatever they have to do for a profit without a conscious," said In the Meantime Men's Group Inc. founder and executive director Jeffrey C. King. "Today is a new day and we are not going to sit idly by and do nothing while our culture is misrepresented."
After repeated requests by the community to cancel the show, last Friday the clubs manager said that the show would go on. The West Hollywood City Council has not been able to persuade the club owners to drop the act but is passing a resolution discouraging the act at its February 5th meeting.
Activists plan to hold various demonstrations around West Hollywood if the show is not cancelled, including at the West Hollywood City Hall.