Please mark your calendars for the next “History Matters: Join the Conversation!” event, coming up on Weds., Dec. 2, at 7:30pm in the Pugh Center. Professor Arnout van der Meer will host, and the title is “Blackface at the Holidays: ‘Zwarte Piet,’ Racism, and Identity in Contemporary Europe.” Traditional Dutch holiday treats will be served!

Here’s a brief description: Since 2011 the “traditional” celebration of St. Nicholas in the Netherlands has become increasingly controversial because of the appearance of St. Nicholas’ servants – blackface, thick red lips, black curly hair, and golden earrings. Where did this “tradition” originate? Why don’t many Dutch people see this is a racist stereotype? What does this tell us about racism and multi-cultural societies in Europe?

Hope to see many of you there!!