Teacher Suspended for Dressing Up as Common in Blackface

Not the best representation of Common.

Halloween became offensive this year after a high school teacher dressed up as Common while proudly wearing blackface.

What We Know:

  • A California teacher at Milpitas High School is on administrative leave and is being further investigated for his poor Halloween costume choice. The unidentified teacher attempted to dress up as Rapper Common and even put on a performance for his students. The teacher wore a white turtleneck with a black coat, however, his entire face being painted to mimic melanin skin caught everyone’s attention.
  • Many students were in disbelief that their teacher would take part in such an offensive act like blackface since it’s not unknown that a large majority of people consider this highly distasteful and insensitive. A fellow student captured a video of her teacher in action, which she shared via Twitter. The video has since gone viral and has gained over 600,000 views. As expected, the video received plenty of backlash and has this California teacher in the hot seat. However, in the video the teacher show off his “rap” skills ultimately making a mockery out of himself.
  • One Twitter user wrote, “How in 2019 does a teacher not know how racist and offensive black face is? Does he live on an island without the media or social media? This was deliberate. Someone should look into his Facebook or his history as an educator bc I promise you he knew exactly what he was doing!”
  • The School Board Trustee President, Chris Norwood, released a statement expressing both his disappointment and disapproval of the teacher’s actions. “The action(s) were inappropriate, unprofessional and insensitive. District administration has placed the staff member on Administrative leave and I have asked the Superintendent to ensure an immediate investigation is conducted. As an African American man, the history of Blackface reminds me of the cruelty, hatred and fear my parents and people of African Ancestry have dealt with in the past and still experience today around the world, he wrote.”
  • According to the student who shared the video, the teacher wore his costume for at least two classes before officials acknowledged his behavior.

It’s 2019 and anyone who still thinks it’s okay to wear blackface for Halloween or any occasion needs to take accountability for their actions. It’s simple to execute a costume without incorporating blackface.





Kamesha Willaims is a Digital Intern at Black News Alerts.