Jamaican News & Announcements

Sheriff in South Carolina Criticized for Black-Face Bob Marley Halloween Costume

Melanie Thornburg in black-face Bob Marley costume
Written by Staff Writer
Melanie Thornburg in black-face Bob Marley costume

Melanie Thornburg in black-face Bob Marley costume

Melanie Thornburg, a sheriff captain in Gaston, South Carolina, has received strong criticism for her choice of Halloween costume, Thornburg dressed up as Jamaica reggae legend Bob Marley, donning a dreadlock wig, T-shirt with a marijuana leaf printed on it, and black paint for her face. Thornburg said she meant no disrespect and apologized for using black-face as part of her costume. Thornburg “wouldn’t have ever tried to mock anyone,” and said that if she had been aware of the painful history of blackface she would have thought twice about her choice of Halloween costume, which was a last-minute decision. Blackface became popular with white actors in the 1800s as a derogatory way to mock African Americans. Chris Thomason, the president of the Gaston NAACP, said people shouldn’t “get too worked up” about a Halloween costume, adding that the controversy over Thornburg was “insignificant and childish,” but he also said he empathizes with those who were offended. He noted that there may always be costumes on Halloween that offend some people, but that “tomorrow’s a new day” and “let’s pull our boot straps and focus on what matters.”

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