After years of controversy, the Birmingham Black People have been forced to change their mascot. The AA baseball team, a feeder team for the Atlanta Braves, had the Black People as a mascot for 72 years.
There has been considerable pressure on the baseball team to change their mascot for years. It may be obvious that the “Black People” might be offensive to black people, but those within the organization don’t feel the same way.
“The Redskins in the NFL are representing our nation’s capital city. I really don’t know what’s so bad about it. Indians have a rich culture and they’re tenacious warriors in battle,” Black People owner, Chet Sidinsky, said. “Black People are deeply rooted in America. Historically, they’re known for their strong work ethic. What else could you ask for in a mascot?”
What some might call blatant racism, Sidinsky and other Black Peoples (as the fans call themselves) call reverence and commemoration. They point to teams like the Florida State Seminoles and the Atlanta Braves, who have rituals that honor Native American traditions. The Seminoles have a mock Seminole Indian stick a flaming spear midfield during Florida State football games; the Braves chant while doing the “tomahawk chop.” The Birmingham Black People are notorious for their concession stands that feature fried chicken and purple “drank,” and their pitching rotation is said to “shackle” opponents’ offenses.
The Atlanta Braves were recently forced to eliminate their “screaming Indian” logo, a subject of much controversy that has only forced the Black People issue even more. Sidinsky still does not know why his organization is being ousted while teams with much worse mascots maintain their image.
Sidinsky commented, “Isn’t it just typical of the government to hate on Black People?”