Last year I went to Brazil and met two black men from the Netherlands. I was like whaaaat? black dutch people? Say something in dutch! (Yes. I’m silly. I was on vacation!) The two guys were staying at the same hostel as myself and we all ended up becoming good friends. We even spent one afternoon discussing what race relations were like in each of our countries, and also how our education systems were structured. The conversation was enlightening for all involved. Still, I was caught by surprised when I started seeing articles about this Dutch holiday where dutch people dress up in black face. I had a hard time believing it was true, even tho all the websites posted pictures of parades and folks celebrating as if running around in black face is normal. So I immediately emailed one of my Dutch friends to find out if this was in fact an accurate depiction of what goes on around Amsterdam. His response was simply: “Yes. We tell them to stop, but they don’t get it.”


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