This week, as the Internet grapples with the existence of St. Louis’ Vealed Prophet Ball and its connection to actress Ellie Kemper, a resurgence of attention to the bizarre tradition reminded us that a few years ago, someone stole two balls. old ass racist crown.
Indeed, in 2018, a pair of gem-encrusted, 120-year-old arrows—an 1894 Wealed Prophet Special Maid’s Crown and an 1896 Weald Prophet Queen’s Crown—were found missing from the museum’s “Seeking St. where they were introduced since 2005. They appear to have been snatched by an unknown crown-stealer and disappeared before the theft was discovered.
Reached via email, museum spokeswoman Madeline Reichmuth told RFT That the crowns are still missing and that there has been “no update or development” in terms of where the gaudy remnants of exclusionary elitism may have been wound up. (RFT Louis Police Department with questions about the investigation, although we did not receive a response by the publication.)
The crown is just one piece of the bizarre tapestry that is the Weald Prophet Ball, established in 1878 by a pair of brothers who both served in the Confederate Army. initially imagined as Reaction to the Great Railroad Strike of 1877The Weald Prophet Ball emerged with a focus on the city’s elite families and business owners.
In the late 1890s, when two stolen crowns rode over the heads of the event’s respected maidens, no blacks were allowed entry—and this policy didn’t change until 1979, when secret societies finally diversified and began to accept non-white people, including Jews, into its special ranks.
Then, on Monday, Twitter user @WB_Baskerville shared several photos of the eponymous Veiled Prophet, a man (as usual) dressed in an embellished white robe and whose face was hidden by a long white veil.
Next to the Prophet sits the Queen of Love and Beauty.
“Every once in a while,” the tweet read, “I remember that the Veiled Prophet Ball exists and that everything about True Detective Season 1 is real.”
Every once in a while I remember that the Veiled Prophet Ball exists and that everything about True Detective Season 1 is real pic.twitter.com/BtFh1Y6lmg
— ️askerville ️🌈🇻🇦🇸🇦 (@WB_Baskerville) 31 May 2021
In response, another user, @hannastasia, tweeted another explanation, describing the Weld Prophet Ball “A fancy event organized by our local KKK, of which Ellie Kemper was once the queen of love and beauty.”
The answer included a link to a longer article on the Wealth Prophet written in 2014 by Scott Beauchamp the Atlantic – as well as an attached image, showing a robe, pointed cap, and an illustration of an old newspaper holding a pistol and shotgun.
But it was a reference to Kemper—famous for his TV roles The Office and unbreakable kimmy schmidt — which sent Twitter into a tailspin. Some dubbed Kemper the “KKK princess”, even others tried to explain That Veiled Prophet, despite its racist membership rules and familiar robe-and-hood aesthetic, Not affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan.
A fancy event hosted by our local KKK, of which Ellie Kemper was once the queen of love and beauty https://t.co/6xgwa788Ck
— The Hannah (@hannastasia) 31 May 2021
There is also pertinent detail that in 1999, when Kemper was chosen as the “Queen of Love and Beauty” at that year’s ball, the event was already unified and on its way to relive some aspects of its past. was.
Indeed, over the past three decades, while the Weald Prophet Ball continued as a private event, its branches received a brand makeover: The Weald Prophet Fair was renamed Fair St. Louis in 1992, and the Weald Prophets Parade became the VP Parade and, most recently, “America’s Birthday Parade.”
The controversy over Kemper has not appeared to change any plans for 2021. This year, like Kemper in 1999, some aristocratic-born young woman will be presented with a crown and seated next to a clothed man. During the parade, their magic carpet-style boat will be accompanied by a team of “Bengal Lancers” – Horse racers wearing fake beards and costumes that reflect a century-old vision of looking like Indian soldiers.
What won’t happen are two old crowns.
Follow Danny Wisentowski on Twitter @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com
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