A charter school in Atlanta is at the center of controversy after a second grade class did a Black history performance with masks that resembled traditional blackface. Multiple parents expressed their outrage online yesterday and the school released an official apology on Facebook today, saying they are “deeply committed” to making sure “this never happens again.”
“Kindezi Old Fourth Ward sincerely apologizes and accepts responsibility for the hurt, anger, frustration and disappointment caused by the poor judgement we made in having students use masks that mimic blackface while reciting Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s poem, We Wear the Mask at our Black History program Thursday night,” the statement reads.
In response, the charter school said they are conducting a thorough investigation, holding conversations with students to provide the historical context of the imagery and poem, and are providing teacher education on “cultural competency and ensuring our staff has a thorough understanding of our shared history regarding race and racism in America, and how to engage in productive conversations with our students and the community.”
The school said they recognized that the use of masks was a “poor and inappropriate decision.”
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