White Pastor Slammed for Terrible Defense of Blackface Photos newsusface

An Oklahoma pastor has been slammed and widely ridiculed after photos resurfaced of the man of God wearing black- and redface at church events.

“Racist pastor thinks blackface is acceptable. Not very [‘What Would Jesus Do?”] of him!!!!” a Facebook user wrote on a page belonging to the Matoaka Baptist Church, which is just outside of Tulsa. “Disgraceful.”

According to local outlet Fox News 23, the images of Sherman Jaquess in blackface were originally posted on social media in 2017 but recently resurfaced online.

“Here’s Pastor Sherman Jaquess in Black Face. He pastors at the Matoaka Baptist Church in Ochelata Oklahoma,” Tulsa resident Marq Lewis shared on Facebook.

In the series of photos, Jaquess wears dark black makeup, an Afro wig, and bright red lipstick. He has on dark sunglasses, a shiny beige suit, and purple shirt while playing a keyboard, smiling and performing for the crowd.

Jaquess addressed the controversy during a sermon Wednesday, saying he had “gotten over 20 calls” that day.

“They are blowing this thing up, this picture of me when I played Ray Charles,” Jaquess says in a recording of the sermon.

Jaquess says that he received a call from a Black pastor in Texas and was then interviewed by a local reporter, who Jaquess claimed tried to chastise him for previously dressing up in drag despite being critical of the LGBTQ+ community.

“When I was a youth pastor, we used to have theme nights. We’d have superhero night. We had cowboys and Indian night. …I dressed up like a squaw,” Jaquess said, using the slur for Native American woman. “I had a full Indian-looking dress on; I had a wig braided.”

He said a photo was taken of two other congregants dressed up as cowboys, one with his fists up as if he was getting ready to fight Jaquess and another with a gun up to Jaquess’ head.

A photo on Jaquess’ Facebook page from 2014 shows the pastor dressed up in a stereotypical Native American outfit and dark makeup.

“That wasn’t a drag queen performance,” Jaquess claimed, recounting his argument over the meaning of drag with the reporter. “That was a theme night. …I was fully clothed, and I did nothing sexual or lewd.”

Jaquess claimed he’s allowed to dress up in redface because he allegedly has “Cherokee blood in” him.

“Last week, there was another death threat,” Jaquess joked with the congregation on Wednesday. “Looks like I’m famous.”

“I just want to publicly say, I don’t have a racial bone in my body. I’m not racist at all,” Jaquess said before diving into a sermon on the concept of delusion.

“It’s a sad day we live in. …I love Ray Charles’ music. How can you portray Ray Charles if you’re not a Black man?” he added.

But plenty of social media users were not buying his excuses, with many plastering the church’s Facebook page with Jaquess’ blackface images and negative comments. (The church limited who could comment under its posts.)

“How can a pastor lead a church when he doesn’t respect all of God’s people. God makes no mistakes and he made black people beautiful so why would a man of God mock them?” a Facebook user wrote on the church’s page. “He gives a bad name to real Christians.”

“Racist bigots. You wouldn’t know Jesus if he walked through your door,” another Facebook user wrote.

On his personal Facebook page, the pastor has shared an image comparing former President Barack Obama to monkeys. He has also mocked Muslims, comparing those who wear burkas to trashbags. In Jaquess’ pastoral profile on the Matoaka Baptist Church website, he vows the congregation “will strive for unity, while walking in love.”

Jaquess did not immediately return The Daily Beast’s request for comment, and the number for the Matoaka Baptist Church was not “accepting calls” Friday.

Leave a comment