British Heart Foundation apologises as customer discovers 'racist filth' in Sussex charity shop

The British Heart Foundation has apologised after a customer discovered what they described as 'racist filth' in a charity shop in Sussex.

The British Heart Foundation store in Western Road, Brighton. Picture: Google Maps
The British Heart Foundation store in Western Road, Brighton. Picture: Google Maps

Debbie Waldon visited the charity shop in Western Road, Brighton, when she discovered a record by The George Mitchell Minstrels called The Black and White Minstrel Show.

The sleeve depicted a cartoon of a man dressed as a black and white minstrel: a form of blackface which has been heavily criticised by civil rights groups.

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Shocked by the discovery, the Brighton resident branded it as ‘complete racist filth’. She said: “I was horrified that such a thing should be on prominent display in a charity shop.”

The record has now been removed from the shelves

The Black and White Minstrel Show was a BBC show first aired in 1958 and devised by Scottish musician George Mitchell. It featured performers in blackface performing American-style minstrel songs, and was eventually cancelled.

In response, Allison Swaine-Hughes, retail director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We are extremely sorry for the genuine error that occurred in our Brighton shop today.

"From our internal investigation we understand that the item was missed during the pricing up process of a batch donation, which led to it being accidentally put on the shelves.

"The BHF has strict rules and guidance on items that are inappropriate or offensive and we sincerely apologise for any offence that this error has caused our customers.

"This item has been immediately removed from sale, and all other items from this donation are being gone through with a fine tooth comb, as will all other existing stock.

"We will also be offering further guidance training to our staff and volunteers.”

To find out how to donate items to the British Heart Foundation, click here.