The Blessed Madonna: It's Time to Change the Name

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Cultural appropriation is the process by which aspects of one culture or religion are copied and used (appropriated) by members of another culture. This phenomenon can be  especially problematic when members from a dominant culture appropriate from a minority culture, or when religious nomenclature or iconography is used in an insensitive way. Often times, this usage is done without the permission of the religion and is against the main tennants of the religion: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.. We have seen this countless times in the realm of pop culture over the years and especially so in the world of music. Through the use of aliases, artist names, song titles and even clever publicity and media schemes, there have been countless examples of white artists appropriating aspects of religion to their benefit. By creating a religious identity, these artists aim to create authenticity, without acknowledging the damage and hurt they cause to religious people.

On June 20th of this year Marea Stamper changed her name to the "The Blessed Madonna". This name, "The Blessed Madonna," holds significance for catholics around the world. 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. 

In the intervening time, several artists and organizations with much deeper and long-standing ties to problematic nicknames have been asked to reconsider their names. I have contacted Black Sabbath, Madonna, and the Jesus Lizard, but as of yet have had no response. Why can't Marea Stamper lead the way and change her name? The reality is, there is no better time to make such a change. No one is working. She could tell her management team she has decided to no longer use the nickname. They could send out a typical press release announcing the change and when things do start back up, easily complete the transition by putting "(The Blessed Madonna FKA The Black Madonna)" in parentheses by her own name(or whatever new alias she chooses) for a few weeks on all gigs/flyers/socials/etc.  Anything done before the switch(music, merch, video games, etc) stays as-is.

Sign this petition to show your solidarity and support and to send a clear message to Marea Stamper that the use of her current alias is problematic, offensive and that you would like to see it changed.