Shokazoba, an "Afrobeat" band, reportedly had its Halloween performance at Hampshire College allegedly cancelled because the members of the group are "too white" to play Afrobeat music.
The band's keyboard player, Jason Moses, told MassLive.com that about 30 people were able to execute an online campaign to have their show at the annual Halloween event shut down. He said the band is not even all white, but race shouldn't matter anyway.
"It's not important to us. Music and art has the opportunity to transcend all that," Moses said.
The Hype Committee, which apparently made the call to cancel the band's show, announced the decision on Facebook on Oct. 24:
"Due to concerned students voicing their opinions about the band Shokazoba, we held community dialogue to hear what individuals had to say. As a result of the dialogue, and discomfort expressed by members of the community in person as well as by email, Facebook, and other means, we have removed Shokazoba from the lineup for Hampshire Halloween."
Further, a Hampshire College spokeswoman said in a statement that students "questioned the selection of one band, asking whether it was a predominantly white Afrobeat band, and expressing their concerns about cultural appropriation and the need to respect marginalized cultures."
Moses says the entire experience has been "disgusting."
"It felt like we were demonized. I didn't feel they should cancel us," he said.
The keyboard player also revealed his group singed a performance contract with the Hype Committee that prohibits the school from discriminated against based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, physical ability or sexual orientation.
"He said he does not feel the band was dealt with in an honest way, and said he was sure some people would have wanted to see them play. Moses said the band would still play at the college, if it were organized by a different group interested in incorporating other points of view," MassLive.com's report adds.