May 8, 1996 in Nation/World

Club Med Sued Over Minstrel Show

Compiled From Wire Services
 
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Club Med is being sued for staging a black-face minstrel show at a conference in Senegal attended by prominent black Americans, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown.

The skit, described as “a deliberate racist attack,” shocked and humiliated the 700 people in the audience, said the lawsuit.

The International Foundation for Education and Self-Help, The African-African American Summit Inc. and four individuals - including the Rev. Leon Howard Sullivan, a Philadelphia civil rights leader - filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. It seeks $5 million in damages.

“Two Club Med staff members came on stage, wearing black makeup on their faces with white lips, and sporting garishly colored clothes and white gloves, to perform a musical number,” the lawsuit said.

The crowd reacted immediately and Sullivan averted a riot by hustling the performers offstage and demanding an apology, the suit said.


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