The Black Madonna changes her name, now called The Blessed Madonna

The Black Madonna

After a Change.org petition was launched and amassed nearly 1300 signatures, The Black Madonna (real name Marea Stamper) has announced she is changing her DJ name to The Blessed Madonna. In a statement made via social media, she confirmed the name change, stating that while the name was initially chosen by her as a way to honour her faith and her and her family’s ” lifelong and profound Catholic devotion to a specific kind of European icon of the Virgin Mary which is dark in hue,” she now hears “loud and clear” that the name was offensive to many across the world.

” My artist name has been a point of controversy, confusion, pain and frustration that distracts from things that are a thousand times more important than any single word in that name,” she wrote.

“We’re living in extraordinary times and this is a very small part of a much bigger conversation, but we all have a responsibility to try and affect positive change in any way we can. I want you to be able to feel confident in the person I am and what I stand for.”

The petition in question was launched by Black Catalogue label’s Monty Luke. In the description of the petition, Luke clearly defined the term “cultural appropriation” and what that means to communities and cultures across the world. While acknowledging the name indeed might’ve held personal significance for Stamper and Catholics around the world, Luke outlined the importance it also held “especially so for black catholics in the US, Caribbean and Latin America.”

“In addition, Detroit’s Shrine of the Black Madonna has been an important cultural figure to many interested in the idea of Black feminism and self-determination for the past 50 years. Religious connotations aside though, it should be abundantly clear that in 2020, a white woman calling herself ‘black’ is highly problematic.”

Read the full statement from The Blessed Madonna below:

 

 

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Friends, I have changed my name to The Blessed Madonna. I have always been transparent about my faith because I felt a responsibility to be clear about who I was and who I was not. The name was a reflection of my family’s lifelong and profound Catholic devotion to a specific kind of European icon of the Virgin Mary which is dark in hue. People who shared that devotion loved the name, but in retrospect I should have listened harder to other perspectives. But now I hear loud and clear. My artist name has been a point of controversy, confusion, pain and frustration that distracts from things that are a thousand times more important than any single word in that name. We’re living in extraordinary times and this is a very small part of a much bigger conversation, but we all have a responsibility to try and affect positive change in any way we can. I want you to be able to feel confident in the person I am and what I stand for. Thank you for listening. Stay blessed. -Love Marea PS: If you read this far, arrest the cops that murdered Breonna Taylor in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky: Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove.

A post shared by The Blessed Madonna (@blessed_madonna) on

Words by Emma Jones
Image: Aldo Paredes

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