The gravestones of two deceased UK music hall singers have been covered up for containing “offensive” language.
The bodies of singers G. H. Elliott and Alice Branford have rested at St. Margaret’s Church in Rottingdean since 1962.
Last week, church officialdom announced it would be covering up their headstones because they contained references to their careers as blackface performers.
The church is trying to find the singers’ next of kin, but “Meanwhile, the headstones have been temporarily covered up,” Archdeacon Martin Lloyd Williams told the BBC.
“I find the inscription on these two headstones deeply offensive and am sure that the vast majority of people would agree and would want it changed,” Williams said.
“Over the last few months, investigations have been underway as to the legal and other considerations around seeking a solution, not least seeking to identify and contact the next of kin who own the headstones.”
Elliott’s gravestone inscription reads:
“The last curtain call for G.H. Elliott – The chocolate coloured coon who passed peacefully away 19 November 1962. Dearly Loved. RIP”
Banford’s headstone reads:
“Alice Banford – Originally known as LAL CLIFF – Coon Singer and Dancer. 1884-1962.”
The censorship of the headstones comes as statues and other monuments have come under attack in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests and riots carried out in the name of George Floyd.
No word on whether Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) will face his day of reckoning after photos surfaced last year from his 1984 yearbook showing him either wearing blackface or a KKK outfit.
Northam was also inexplicably given the nickname “Coonman” at the Virginia Military Institute, according to reports.
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