A petition launched by Detroit artist Monty Luke called her original name “offensive” and “cultural appropriation.”
Marea Stamper, FKA The Black Madonna, has changed her artist name to The Blessed Madonna.
Stamper made the change a day after Detroit artist Monty Luke launched an online petition titled “The Black Madonna: It’s Time To Change The Name,” which was supported by King Britt, among others. Luke called the name “problematic, offensive” and “cultural appropriation.” (Read his statement in full here.)
“My artist name has been a point of controversy, confusion, pain and frustration that distracts from things that are a thousand times more important than any single word in that name,” Stamper writes. “We’re living in extraordinary times and this is a very small part of a much bigger conversation, but we all have a responsibility to try and affect positive change in any way we can.”
Criticism of Stamper’s use of The Black Madonna goes back years. In an interview with The Quietus in 2017, she defended it by claiming that, as a devout Catholic, the name was part of her culture. Before announcing The Blessed Madonna, she briefly changed her social media handles to “The black Madonna” with a lowercase “b.”