The folkloric figure of Black Pete is a racist stereotype; a prolongation of a long history of blackface. As the folktale goes, mid November St. Nicolas and his group of helpers, called 'Pieten' arrived in The Netherlands. They will return to Spain after December 5th. During this period, I will post daily on the subject matter of the 'racist character of Black Pete'. Each post will show, deny, neglect, protest, present, discuss or challenge an aspect of this racist character. Black Pete must go!
‘In een bepaald opzicht is Zwarte Piet het dirty little secret van Nederland, want het is ook niet zo dat jullie deze traditie vol trots uitdragen over de rest van de planeet.’ – Roger Ross Williams in 2015 (Source: Het Parool)
In 2010, in an attempt to brand Dutch department store HEMA internationally, renounced advertisement agency Kessels Kramer started a pop-up store in Londen, called KK Outlet. Under the name “Sinterklaas pops up in London” people can get acquainted with Sinterklaas. This Dutch Saint will even have his own parade on December 2, 2010. He will ride on his horse through the streets of London, with his helper Pete and will give out presents. His full- face black make-up is replaced by two black dots; one on each cheek.