A popular Afrobeat band from Western Massachusetts that was slated to perform at Hampshire College's annual Halloween party had their performance canceled at the last minute after students expressed concern that the band was "too white."
The school's HYPE Committee, which organized Friday's Hampshire Halloween event, released its own statement saying it made the decision to pull the "predominantly white" Shokazoba from the line-up after students expressed concerns "about cultural appropriation and the need to respect marginalized cultures."
Though the school claims the decision was "not based on the band’s racial identity" but rather "on the intensity and tone" of the "increasingly aggressive" comments left on the committee's Facebook page, Shokazoba insists it was "discriminated against by people who had never even met us or heard one note of our music."
The band's keyboard player, Jason Moses, told The Republican he and his bandmates met with the event's organizers, who partly blamed Shokazoba for the outcome, saying they enhanced tensions "by responding to the negativity voiced online."
Despite the cancellation, Hampshire College planned to pay Shokazoba in full for their trouble.