The Black Madonna dons new moniker in wake of civil unrest
The Black Madonna is adopting a new name in response to online pressure calling for her to make an alias change in the wake of global civil unrest. Now known as The Blessed Madonna, the selector lesser known as Marea Stamper announced the change in a statement on July 20,
“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.”
Underground imprint Black Catalogue’s founder, Monty Luke wrote in a petition that circulated online calling for Stamper to changer her moniker, “[The Black Madonna] holds significance for catholics around the world, but 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.”
In Western Christianity, the terms Black Madonna or Black Virgin generally refer to icons of the Virgin Mary or baby Jesus, where the figures are depicted as black, often for historically contested reasons. “I’ve always been transparent about my faith…. The name was a reflection of my family’s lifelong and profound Catholic devotion,” said Stamper. Despite the close religious connection to the name, Stamper will now be known as The Blessed Madonna; her full statement can be read below.
View this post on Instagram
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.
Featured image: Jeremy Deputat