Home>Local>Gloucester>Winner of Pitman council seat apologizes for blackface photo

Pitman Councilman-elect Vince Kelly in a 2008 photo that appeared on his Facebook page in 2015. (Photo: Facebook).

Winner of Pitman council seat apologizes for blackface photo

By David Wildstein, November 06 2021 12:53 pm

A newly-elected councilman in Pitman has apologized for appearing in blackface in a Halloween costume he wore thirteen years ago.

Facebook photos of Republican Vince Kelly emerged one day after he unseated veteran Democratic incumbents in Pitman in Tuesday’s general election.

“In 2008 I purchased and wore a Flavor Flav costume to a Halloween party where guests were expected to dress as a celebrity,” Kelly said.  “At the time Flavor Flav’s yelling of ‘yeah boy’ made him incredibly popular, wearing the costume was a celebration of his fame.”

Kelly said that he used the photo years later as his Facebook cover photo during the Halloween season.  He said that he changed the photo “and frankly forgot about it until recent events.”

“I do understand that we live in a very different time and today, even as a celebration of one’s fame, I would not even consider wearing a costume that included blackface,” Kelly said.  “I apologize to anyone who may be hurt by my costume choice of years ago and will soon reach out to the Pitman Anti-Racist Collective so we can hopefully schedule a meeting and have some open, honest dialogue.”

Republicans won two seats on the Pitman Borough Council, flipping control of the Gloucester County municipality.  Republican mayor Michael Razze Jr. will break a tie on a 3-3 council.

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