Student wears Whoopi Goldberg 'blackface' costume during on-camp - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Student wears Whoopi Goldberg 'blackface' costume during on-campus performance

(WMC-TV) - A blackface costume at an annual campus-wide event held by a Delta State University sorority is brewing controversy.

"It was a negative thing used to depict how people use to think of African-Americans," said Delta State senior Amanda Corkran.

Corkran said she is not confused about the negative connotation behind blackface, but she said she does not believe the students involved in last week's homecoming incident had a clue what they were doing.

"I believe that they didn't have any malicious intent," she said.

School officials said Last Tuesday several groups performed during the Student Government Association's annual lip synching contest in The Quad. One student with the Kappa Delta Sorority came out in blackface portraying Whoopi Goldberg from the movie "Sister Act".

"It kind of shows a negative connotation on what it means to be a college student here in the Delta 'cause it kind of makes it seems like we're set back in the 50s and 60s," said student Khristopher Thomas, who explained the performance. "Kind of confused but mostly a little offended [by it]."

Delta State University President Bill LaForge responded with an email:

"I applauded and stood for this group (just as I did for all of the performing groups to show my support). When I learned of the offensive action the next evening, I was outraged and disappointed."

Thomas says the student should apologize.

Sanctions placed on the Kappa Delta sorority chapter include verbal and written apologies as well as planning, executing,and attending a diversity program that will be open to all students before Christmas break.

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