Is New Charcoal Blackface Challenge Racist

A social media challenge in which white men and occasionally women blacken their faces by putting their heads inside bags of charcoal has sparked accusations of racism.

At least 15 videos have already been posted on Facebook this year in which people, are seen putting their heads inside bags of charcoal and then shaking them about.

Video Credit: CEN/@UNCUTSA

After a few seconds, they pull the bags from their heads to reveal their newly blackened faces to complete what some have dubbed the Bobjan Challenge.

The name comes from the fact many of the videos are set to the backing track of South African singer Robbie Wessel’s track ‘Bobjan’ about a man who becomes a gorilla.

Most of the people being filmed taking part in the challenge appear to be shirtless, overweight white men who appear to have been enjoying a drink.

Credit: CEN
Greg Miles does the Bobjan challenge

Many people who saw the videos on social media had little doubt there was a racist element to the challenge.

Netizen ‘Ziyaad Agherdien’ said: “These okes know exactly what they’re doing… #blackface”, while ‘Tshepo Gatsheni’ added: “Some snowflake is gonna spin this into a black face thing…”

But others were not so sure, such as ‘Lunchen Luchey Cupido’ who commented: “Looks to me like these guys had too much brandy and had a little innocent fun which is quickly turning into something that wasn’t intended. Laugh a little!”


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Simon Glover, Sub-EditorJoseph Golder,  Agency: Central European News

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