To Truly Understand Racism, Student Spends All Of February In Blackface

EDWARDS HALLIn an effort to learn about Black History in a hands-on way, Claire Dawson ’18 reportedly set out to understand racism by spending all of February wearing blackface. “I wanted to experience what some people have to go through everyday, and the second I stepped out of the door on February 1st, people started treating me differently. As a white person, I guess I didn’t notice all the glares black people receive on a daily basis,” said Dawson, adding that the “immediate discrimination” she experienced upon donning blackface tested her dedication to the awful experiment, but her desire to bridge the cultural gap gave her strength to preserve for the whole month. “I never knew how widespread racism is on campus. I even encountered prejudice from the most progressive of professors, some even going as far as to not allow me into the classroom.” Dawson concluded that the most surprising result was how she was treated by her “fellow black students,” who would leave the dining halls when she walked in, despite telling them that “this isn’t what King fought for.”

Originally published in Allegheny College’s The Krampus.

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