Univ. of Southern Miss. Sorority Members Punished for Blackface ‘Cosby Show’ Costumes

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A group of sorority girls at the University of Southern Mississippi are in hot water after they dressed in Blackface to appear as characters from the Cosby Show at a recent off-campus 1980s-themed costume party.

According to The Associated Press, six members of the university’s Phi Mu sorority were placed on probation by the organization following the incident. The girls have not yet been publically identified.

According to Mississippi’s Hattiesburg American newspaper, Phi Mu’s national office acted quickly after pictures of the costumed girls had circulated throughout the campus.

“Though it is clear that these women had no ill intent, it was also clear that they had little cultural awareness or competency, and did not understand the historical implication of costuming in blackface,” Dean of Students Eddie Holloway said in a news statement.

School officials said that executive officers from the sorority recently met with a group of African-American student leaders to discuss the issue. Phi Mu also said that the matter is currently under investigation, and more disciplinary action against the girls could follow.

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