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‘Mammy’ Protester Charged With Assault

by ARLnow.com | April 30, 2012 at 9:52 am | 2,676 views | 68 Comments

(Updated at 10:20 a.m.) The woman accused of disrupting a children’s dance performance last spring is facing new charges.

Jackie Carter was in court on Friday for an arraignment on an assault charge. Prosecutors say they dropped the original disorderly conduct charge against her after determining that assault, also a Class 1 misdemeanor, was the “more appropriate charge.”

As we reported in January, Carter was charged with disorderly conduct following an incident on April 30, 2011, in which she booed a Bowen McCauley Dance Company performance at Kenmore Middle School.

The performance, which featured live music by a Kenmore Middle School band, included a dance number that Carter said she found to be “racist and offensive to African-Americans and African American women especially.”

“The skit involved a white child and her black mamee singing and dancing together to the song ‘Lil Rabbit where’s Ya Mamee,’” Carter wrote in a lengthy blog post. “The Mamee scene was a celebration of the many black women, enslaved and used as wet-nurses and the many other unspeakable crimes committed against their enslaved minds, souls and bodies.”

Carter said that during her protest she got into a physical confrontation with Arlington County Board member Mary Hynes and four other Bowen-McCauley staff members. The charge against her, however, accuses Carter of assaulting Jaime Areizaga-Soto, who was running for state Senate at the time of the incident.

Prosecutors were not able to release any additional details about the alleged assault. Carter’s trial date is set for June 29.

Woman Facing Possible Jail Time for Booing Dance Performance

by ARLnow.com | January 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm | 6,513 views | 168 Comments

A woman who was arrested for disrupting a children’s dance performance last spring is making accusations of racism and mistreatment against the dance company and one of its most prominent supporters.

Jackie Carter was charged with disorderly conduct following an incident on April 30, 2011, in which she booed a Bowen McCauley Dance Company performance at Kenmore Middle School. The incident was detailed by the Afro newspaper last week, and then picked up by the Washington City Paper on Friday.

The performance, which featured live music by a Kenmore Middle School band, included a dance number that Carter said she found to be “racist and offensive to African-Americans and African American women especially.”

“The skit involved a white child and her black mamee singing and dancing together to the song ‘Lil Rabbit where’s Ya Mamee,’” Carter wrote in a lengthy blog post. “The Mamee scene was a celebration of the many black women, enslaved and used as wet-nurses and the many other unspeakable crimes committed against their enslaved minds, souls and bodies.”

Carter says she booed a performance of the scene on April 29, 2011, but left peacefully after police showed up. Carter, whose daughter was attending Kenmore, then expressed her disapproval to numerous Arlington Public School officials, who listened but apparently declined to take any definitive action.

As Afro reported, Kenmore’s principal later defended the performance, writing a note to parents explaining: “The word ‘mammy’ used in the song is a colloquial affectionate term for mother or grandmother and was used historically and still today in some areas by both African and White Americans, especially in the south.”

On April 30, Carter again showed up to Kenmore to protest the performance. Carter says she handed out letters of protest to members of the audience before the show. During the scene, she started booing. That’s when she says she was assaulted by several people associated with the dance company, including current Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes, who’s also an honorary Bowen McCauley board member.

“Mary Hynes and 4 additional Bowen-McCauley staff members began hitting me and pulling my arms in many different directions,” Carter alleged. “I yelled out ‘get off of me’ … a man, representing Bowen McCauley put me in a head lock and squeezed my neck.”

“I attempted to return to my seat when another man also Bowen-McCauley staff member began pushing me in my chest and blocking my forward movements,” she continued. “I was able to get around him, I return to my set and continued booing the ‘Mamee’ scene.”

Carter says she left the theater after the scene, but was then confronted by police. She was ultimately detained and charged with disorderly conduct, a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

“We had to arrest Ms. Carter at the school on 4/30/11 because she caused quite a disturbance,” Arlington County Police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal told ARLnow.com in May 2011. The incident did not make the department’s weekly crime report at the time.

“It didn’t make the Crime Report because it was just a disorderly conduct charge released on summons,” Nosal explained.

According to court records, the next hearing in Carter’s case is scheduled to be held in Arlington County General District Court on April 23.

Update at 5:45 p.m. — Hynes declined to comment, citing the pending criminal charge against Carter.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | August 24, 2010 at 5:56 am | 1,022 views | No Comments

Fire Works Pizza Opens in Courthouse – The much-anticipated Fire Works Pizza has finally opened its doors and its large outdoor patio. A “healthy” crowd showed up for the first night, writes TBD’s Rebecca Cooper.

New APS Teachers and Staff Getting Ready For New School Year — This week, all new Arlington Public Schools employees are undergoing a comprehensive training program to prepare them for the fast-approaching school year. School starts on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Arlingtones Looking for a Few Good Men — The Arlingtones Barbershop Chorus is looking for new members. The a cappella group meets weekly at Gunston Middle School. More from the Ode Street Tribune.

Police Investigate Disturbance at Windsor Apartments in Shirlington — After a 2:00 a.m. call from a resident who had just returned home to find his neighbor’s apartment trashed, Arlington police responded to the Windsor apartment complex at 3000 South Randolph Street. In the trashed apartment, they found a chair that had been apparently thrown through a window, a handgun and a possible shell casing lying on the floor, and a very drunk middle-aged man on a couch. The man was taken to a local hospital. No word on whether the gun had been fired in the apartment, but curiously nobody had called to complain about noise in the area.

Flickr pool photo by Christopher Doorley.

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