Why Black People Should Not Accept The Racism Of Coronation Street

So Coronation Street has issued an apology regarding the racist joke that was made during the bank holiday Monday episode when Eva Price said “I have more roots than Kunta Kinte,” in  a visit to the hair salon to get her roots retouched. Kunta Kinte was a character from the novel  Roots. Based on a real-life ancestor of author Alex Haley, it tells the story of a young man taken from Gambia and sold as a slave. As the majority of white people glee on social media saying, ‘its just a joke, get over it you black people’. I do not believe any black person should be forced to not take offence on something that is clearly very sensitive to them and offensive. The white man is the last person who should tell the black man how to be offended/ or not to be offended about racism. Racism doesn’t affect them in the work place, it doesn’t affect them in the community, it doesn’t affect them in society, they have what is called ‘white privilege’ from birth. So why on earth should the white men be on the fore front in educating black people on how to handle racism?

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There is nothing to joke about when it comes to slavery

Ofcom received more than 300 complaints and hundreds more took to social media to express their disgust with what had happened in the Monday episode of the popular soap. Because of the uproar Coronation Street bosses where forced to issue an apology. The insincere apology from Coronation Street and the reaction from the majority of the white people in support of the racist joke has prompted me write this article. I feel there was a malicious motive behind the racist joke. Firstly, dear Coronation Street, if you are going to issue an apology, even if you don’t want to, the rule of apologies is always to make it sound sincere. But sadly, Coronation Street doesn’t seem to understand that rule, so the insults continues even in the supposed apology.

A spokesman for the soap said, “We apologize IF this dialogue has caused offence.”

Its not a matter of IF. The fact is the dialogue has actually caused offence. Great offence. Their “apology” if its to be even called that, has actually proved that the script writers knew exactly what they the were doing when they wrote the racist joke. I thought soaps where supposed to be enlightening and educational, tackling real life issues in the form of drama. You do not joke about issues pertaining to slavery in a soap. This is not something that should not be allowed in 21st Century Britain. Not on a British soap that is watched by millions of people.

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Blonde Eva Price made a tasteless joke about Kunta Kinte on Coronation Street

What makes it worse is what Eva Price continues to say after the racist joke, “I have no idea who Kunta Kinte is by the way, its just something my mother used to say.” This is literally implying that this is a popular joke white people are comfortable to say to each other, passed from generation to generation without actually knowing who Kunta Kinte was.  How insulting and disrespectful to the black history.

Ofcom is still deciding whether to launch an investigation or not. I think they should go ahead and launch an investigation. There is nothing really to decide, is there?  What did the script writers intend to achieve with the racist joke? Why do they think it is acceptable in modern day Britain to mock black people? Some of us are raising black children in this country where they face all sorts of obstacles in schools and the community. Now when an influential soap such as Coronation Street think its okay to air racist jokes, they are influencing the general public, and yes a lot of white people are loving this joke. They are literally celebrating on social media. Children in the playground will pick on that and the cycle continues. What are they teaching the children?  Sadly Coronation Street is doing its bit in increasing stereotyping and racism  towards black people in the UK.

I have to say until Monday, Coronation Street was actually my favorite British soap. I watched every episode with my 12 year old dark skinned beautiful daughter who has gorgeous afro hair. Talking of dark skinned girls with beautiful afro hair, I have always had my questions as to why there are no black people on Coronation Street. When I say black, I am not talking about the mixed race who are half black and half white with fair skin and straight hair, I am talking about 100 percent black, dark skinned, afro hair and all, the Kunta Kinte kind of black. I know they have had one or two dark skinned people here and there over the years, but to my understanding they do not have a stable number of dark skinned characters in the soap.

I don’t watch other British soaps, but I am very much aware that they have black families in other soaps. I am under the impression that Coronation Street is probably the only British soap that does not have a Black family in it. Which is very ironic considering the soap is shot in Manchester, which is the third city in England with the largest Ethnic minority community, 8.9% of it being the black community. However according to Coronation Street, dark skinned people do not exist in England. That is the picture they paint. No wonder they feel they can easily mock and insult black people in their “very white” soap. Yes I know there an Asian family in the soap, but Asian people are not black people. We are addressing black people not Asian people.

Like I said, what I found very  disturbing, but not surprising was that most white people commenting on the issue on social media do not find anything wrong with the racist Kunta Kinte joke, especially in the daily mail article. In fact they added more racist jokes to the comments section. “It’s just a joke, its not even racist, get a life”, says the racist white man openly. They are obviously the people behind the ongoing racism today, and they are millions of them in the UK. They are just lacking the platform to be openly racist and mock black people. So when Coronation Street pulls a racist stunt like this, the true picture that racism is rife in modern Britain today comes out. They have all come out of the woodwork, the racist trolls who thrive on moments like this. To them they think mocking black people is just but a big joke. They think black people are overreacting. Of course you don’t see anything offensive; racism and slavery never offended you in the first place. Racism does not affect you in modern Britain.

So please stop telling the black race that they should not be offended by something which is clearly offensive to them. We are working very hard for a racist free Britain for our children, we do not need soaps to promote something we are fighting so hard to eradicate. With everything that is going in the world where black people are being killed for simply being black, this is not the time for a British soap to insult our painful  history. To be fair, there are also a good number of white people who were offended by the joke, not all white people are racist.  There were also a very few black people in the minority who thinks the joke was perfectly okay and very funny indeed. And for the record, the most closest friends I have had in my life have been white, and they too feel the same about racism as I do.

I remember some time last year, I also watched an episode in Coronation Street where Bethany Platt made a racist comment about Beyonce’s hair in the same salon where the Kunta Kunte saga happened. It looks like the Coronation Street hair salon is a haven for insulting black people, especially our hair. Maybe if Coronation street bosses knew a bit about Black History, they would not feel so comfortable to keep insulting the black race. One of the main reasons why black women wear weaves today is because of slavery and colonization. Before slavery the black woman wore her afro hair with pride, often braided and plaited, which took an awful amount of time to groom and maintain. For the black woman, hair was not just hair, it was her identity, until the white man shaved off her hair and made her feel like her hair was not good enough, even though it is the most beautiful of all hair types. We, black women were stripped off our identity, but slowly we are waking up to the deception and we are learning to embrace our beautiful hair again. So Coronation Street, next time you are penning scripts for the Wetherfield Hair Salon, be sensitive and  please leave our hair out of it. Thank you.

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The black culture and history of our hair should not be made a spectacle on National British TV

I have a suggestion for you Coronation Street bosses, instead of issuing lame apologies for being racist and aiding racism, if you are really sorry, maybe  its about time you include a black family in your soap. Aren’t soaps supposed to be about families? There are a lot of black families in the UK, especially in Manchester. Learn about their culture, just like you did with the Asian family. And when I say black, I mean black like Sarah Baartman if you have ever heard of her. I mean black like Kunta Kinte. You should also have people like that in your soap, then maybe you will convince us, black people, that you have nothing against us. Why not turn this rather distasteful situation into a positive one and do your part in eradicating the stigma, prejudice and racism of the black race in UK .

If you don’t want black people in the soap, that’s fair enough, we can not force you,  but stop using our history of pain and suffering in your twisted jokes to increase viewing ratings or for whatever other motives. Us, the Black people of Britain will not tolerate any offensive distasteful degrading racist comments that are made at our expense for the benefit of the British entertainment industry. If you do not want us in the soap, no need to go the extra mile and offend us. I write this article representing the black people who watch/or used to watch Coronation Street, its not a matter of if you have offended us. You have offended us, and a sincere apology will be most appreciated, with reassurance that this type of racism will not happen again on the soap. We will not sit around and accept an IF apology. Black History Matters. It is not to be made into tasteless jokes on national TV.

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25 thoughts on “Why Black People Should Not Accept The Racism Of Coronation Street

  1. I think you have made too much out of the comment; AND this seems to be the issue of the BLM movement; as one example. You go on to say “I thought soaps where supposed to be enlightening and educational, tackling real life issues in the form of drama.” If you think people aren’t talking about and making comments (for which they have every right) related to todays current events of racism (one’s which you may not agree with nor are politically correct) then you are misinformed or ignorant (and do not take this word out of context as I have already made reference to in my opening sentence) to. These Soap’s, like it or not, are actually depicting what goes on in some villages, homes and people’s lives. WHY is it that the word Racism, seemingly belongs to “people of colour” and in particular Black people? We are all people of colour. A colour. Why is it that the truth of this particular matter is being ignored? Young people of a certain age, and the age that Eva is depicting, really won’t know who Kunta Kinte is? As historical facts go: you are again misinformed when you present the photos of the women and their hair. Those women weren’t and aren’t slaves. Those are cultural photos of tribes. We ALL have roots; both in our hair and in our pasts. You are comparing Apples and Oranges and that has never made for a good debate. It appears to me at least…you are guilty of grasping at straws! Laying in wait for the NEXT reason to get mad at a society who is not providing something you need. Well I am going to give you a name of some one you should do some research on. He IS a Black man. He and his family, several generations back, have lived and overcome Oppression. I am giving you that word because I think perhaps that is what you would like to say; although it is a very ancient word in our 21st century Britain. This man has also used this word to inform those that have jumped on the BLM band wagon that THEY don’t know what that word means as they have NEVER in the whole of their lives felt any pain that history has dealt. He is called Allen B. West! Read about this man and how he has MADE something of himself. How he is calling out to his “bretheren” (his words) to reach up and make a positive contribution to society. To stop being part of a problem rather a part of the solution. The BEST PART? He is speaking to every colour! Listen to this very well spoken, well educated and well versed man and learn something. Then the next time you want to make a request, one to the bosses at ITV for example, perhaps you will do your research. This way you won’t look so unvalidated in your request. Corrie actually has Black actors representing Black people. History is being made every day. We all have the opportunity to make history. WIll you carry on trying to unearth a history that had nothing to do with you personally (as all of the White people that came before me, descendant or not are NOT who I am); OR will you make history that will actually have a positive and motivational effect on those that come after you? It’s your choice! Up until now….you have only ranted. THAT never got any one nor their issues anywhere. It’s boring. It’s unprofessional. It most probably doesn’t really represent the people you are counting as part of your group.

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    1. Leisa before I even got to your 2nd paragraph I realised you must be white. As only a white person will share your view point.
      To keep it brief from a black perspective you are totally wrg and although our sister may have ranted abit she still totally on point!

      What you call past tense issue is Infact very real and very present issues of racism that every black person feels in British society everyday. (Including today, right now at the very moment while you read this message)

      You say your ancestry has no effect on your life or others lives today but how ignorant must you be to make such a statement when the whole common wealth of the British empire including the US was founded and continues to profit from slavery of Africans.

      We should pull up our bootstraps and make a good life for ourselves you say but neglect to reference to the white supremacy and white privilege that exists..

      You talk about BLM as if you are blind to the plea that blacks are senselessly being killed by the very same people who are so protect them

      You talk about the soap reflecting life, so are you saying that it’s ok to make racist jokes? You say that is what blacks should expect because it’s a reflection of British life ? you sound like a racist and we will never accept that view

      The writer has our full support as black peoples..

      You talk about apples and oranges, yet you are white trying to dictate how blacks should react to racism, clearly you are the one who is confused and disillusioned

      It would be best to comment on things you can atleast be accurate on and Stay in your lane.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Many things in this world are exaggerated! I found the story line highly amusing. Racism will always exist as long as there is somebody who will react to it..As if the story writers do not know what their doing! Story writers are masters of influence,. spend your days getting angry over a few words, Whilst they are going forward, you are going backwards!

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  2. So Leisa,over 300 people have complained to OfCom about that joke and your response to that and to Jan’s reaction and comments on that is that,black people should not take offence to anything and just learn to contribute to society like Allen B West?You have unwittingly just admitted to whatever Jean said about white people’s attitudes towards blacks. your attitude of wanting to control even black minds on how they should react even when your race serves us a rotten portion is nothing surprising.Black people know your tendencies and will never accept those.Your defence to the roots joke is shallow and pathetic.If people of Eva Price’s age group do not know who Kunta Kinte is then they shouldn’t talk about it not knowing what it will cause.This “My generation doesn’t know or have anything to do with Slavery or colonialism” is a tired but expected line of defense often used by your generation of racists.We simply call it denial.People are offended by the Kunta Kinte roots joke and as a matter of fact Leisa that brings back the pain suffered by our fore fathers and remind us that we still live in an unjust society.Black people do not expect you to understand that because you won’t.The beast you can do is just listening.

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  3. All lives matter doesn’t matter the colour of your skin I agree with the rant I find black people beautiful graceful people and blm movement is showing us all that we’re still not treated equal myself as a white woman know nothing of there problems but racism is on all levels it not just the black who have racsis comments about them but yes ur right it is more than 80% aim toward black Asian and darker skinned people and it really should just end now move past the hurt and racism but not forget the history and teach are children that bullying and racism is not acceptable then maybe this world will one day be better the learning begins at home most racsim is learnt at home I know I had a step father who was very racsis and I from a young age thought it was wrong and learnt to not continue what he was teaching my son who is quarter cast is the most beautiful child and so caring and polite and that was taught at home even tho hes very fairer skinned he is still quarter black like his father and he will learn about his history from me and his father most people say he isn’t black when in fact he is and that’s hurtful towards him it hurts me that people are ignorant these days we all have are history no ones is better than others and as the part of the white community myself I am ashamed of are past it is not something to be proud of we as a whole including black Asian all types of people should be treated equal and its should understand than and issue a proper apology to the black community for it’s insensitive joke it is never OK to be racsis and I apologize for my poor spelling right now being dyslexic isn’t easy but blm is a good movement and enough of the shaming and hurt it time to put racism to bed for good

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  4. I’m guilty of being white as well. A man into the bargain. I don’t know how I can live with myself.

    A lot of people are now getting to hear about Kunta Kinte which may turn them on to watching Roots and getting some education.

    It certainly wasn’t racist. Unless you are making the racist point that white people can never refer to black characters when they are making a play on words.

    As a kid I used to make racist jokes without thinking. Happened to see Roots when I was off school for a couple of weeks with an illness. It’s an amazing programme that is educational for everyone who sees it. It changed my life and is easily the greatest TV series ever made.

    Maybe young white ignorance of who Kunta Kinte is was the real life issue the scriptwriters wanted to highlight on this occasion.

    People are well aware of the historical legacy and the relative wealth that people of ALL colours enjoy in the West is a direct result of the slave trade.

    Anyway, “more Roots than Alex Haley” would have been more appropriate.

    This kind of blog is indicative of a defeated mind that wants to blame “the white man” for all their problems and seem to think that strict censorship of absolutely anything that might just be construed as offensive must be shut down as our precious little minds cannot handle it.

    White men are not having a party btw. The biggest killer for white men under 40 is suicide.

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  5. I’m white if black people say something is offensive then I take their word for it.

    I hope you will accept my take on this in the same spirit.

    None of us has any responsibility for the race, nationality or gender we are born into.

    But we all have a responsibility to know and understand each other’s history and respect the fact that upper class white people created the British Empire and all the evils that came from it.

    You also need to know that during the American civil war, Manchester cotton workers sent a telegram to Abe Lincoln supporting his cause “so that the scourge of slavery be wiped from the face of the earth”. At the time these workers were suffering great hardship because American cotton wasn’t reaching Britain. But once they knew of the frightful conditions suffered in the cotton plantations they empathised with black people as fellow human beings.

    When the grand children of these people faced similar conditions when Gandhi led the homespun cotton movement in India, they welcomed Ghadhi with open arms.

    Let us not forget that while respecting and being sensitive to our different histories we are all one species and the hope must be to end racism and unite as one global people in respect and equality. We have a lot of very badly damaged fences to mend.

    Black and white unite and fight! Vote Corbyn!

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  6. I’ve just noticed the “history of our hair” comment under the photographs.

    The comment on Coronation Street was not taking the mickey out of anyone’s hair other than her own.

    There could have been a programme called Roots about the family of a white man called John Smith and the joke would have been

    “I’ve got more Roots than John Smith.”

    Do you really think the joke was on black people’s hair?

    If people think that then I’m not surprised they are offended but they are massively wrong to think that.

    It was a play on words, that’s it.

    There is a huge problem with misunderstandings and taking huge offence at the moment.

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    1. Job your totally wrong if you haven’t got any decent to say then please quiet obviously you are white so it doesn’t bother you in the least

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      1. That’s just racist.

        There’s a lot of things to get angry about in the world and this is not one of them.

        It wasn’t racist but you are.

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    2. Ummm was talking about the racist remark made by Bethany Platt about Beyonce’s hair in an episode of Coronation Street last year, hence my emphasis on hair and history of black hair. Maybe read the article again. God bless x

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  7. It is not just black people that should not accept what was said. I am as a white woman absolutely disgusted with coronation streets script unbelievable. I will not and cannot accept their narrow mindedness and thoughtlessness. We are not just talking about a film here. Kunta Kinte was an ancestor of Alex Hayley the author of the film Roots. Kunta Kinte was born in 1750, enslaved and taken to America. He died in 1822.
    All I can say to Coronation street script writers is you are a disgrace. May I also make the point that people seem to forget when they say the actress only read the script. I would have refused to have said those lines if I was her. She’s as bad as the script writers in my eyes.

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  8. As much as I wish it isn’t so, Kunta Kinte never existed in real life. Nor Chicken George et al.

    However, the story of Roots was true to millions of people and had to be told.

    It’s a shame that this comment has offended you so much because that was not the intention.

    Think of all the people who have now heard of Kunta Kinte because of this. That can only be a good thing. The more people learn of the real history of the USA the better.

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  9. “it’s a joke, get over it”
    I HATE these words. Adding “it’s a joke” does not mean you can say and do whatever you please.

    Racism isn’t a joke, if ONE person finds something offensive maybe they are too sensitive, but if MOST people find it offensive, it’s racism.

    “you’re a fat bitch” haha, i’m just kidding. See? Mean!!!

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  10. First of all, it was offensive. Of course it was. Referring to her hair as looking like “Kunta Kinte” is basically comparing her long blond weave to black hair and finding black hair wanting. Because, black hair is horrible right? NO ONE wants that.

    But you know what? I’m so over trying to explain to racists why Black Lives Matter is important or why black people are offended over this or that. They’re not going to get it because it’s determined, willful ignorance; determined, willful obtuseness; determined and willful disrespect and apathy. Stop trying to make all white folks care. They’re not going to.

    Stop hurting your heart by immersing yourself in the hate of racists. Stop reading the comments, stop watching the rancid Twitter feed through blurred eyes and a nauseous belly.

    Just stop.

    Only an act of God is going to change them. Turn off the technology and live your life. Because you can be assured that people are not going to get away with their hate. Everyone’s going to pay the piper for the way they’ve treated their fellow human beings. Every one.

    And that’s something I believe with all my heart.

    Drowning yourself in the ignorance of strangers, the putrid vileness that pours from their heart, through their fingers to the screen to be seen by those they persecute and abuse, is not going to do anything for anybody. Do not give them an audience.

    Let them be.

    It’s time for black people to stop trying to force people to care. By now, most people in first world countries know what the problems are. If they deny them or trying to brush them aside, then it’s because they simply hate/dislike/don’t care about black people.

    And they don’t have to.

    We don’t need their approval, their understanding; nothing. They tried to destroy us in the worst way possible by invading our homeland and spreading our people through the four corners of this world as slaves. But we didn’t die. We lived. We built. We worked and we cried, but we lived.

    If we were able to survive that hell, we can survive anything.

    We’re strong, not weak. Let them stew in their own filth. Don’t let it touch you and don’t get mad.

    Just strike that show and those people — (Who really truly don’t matter, I mean, who the heck are they? Why the heck do we care about the opinions of random people on the Internet?)– from your mind and go about your business.

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  11. Are you seriously trying to claim that racism doesn’t affect white people? Are you stupid? I have heard more racially derogatory insults from black men to me than I’ve heard from any white man to a black man. You sound like a very ignorant person. And saying she has more roots than kunta kinte is like saying she has more crack than canyon, it’s a word association joke and not in any way racist but what do I know, I’m white. LOL

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  12. What a brilliant article written by Jean. I am a white Irish women and I totally agree with everything you gave said. I also watch Coronation Street and I believe the racist writing which is scripted as a so called joke , is a cowards way of hiding behind a soap to impose Racism towards the afro-Caribbean community. It is , as you point out, very telling with the very absence of a black family in the soap, that the writers are unable to portray a black family because they have no idea about the lives of black people in the UK today. They would not know where to begin to write any scrips or dialogues about this community because they have never experienced living or working alongside them. So what needs to be done is that black script writers need to be brought in to reflect the lives of the black community in this soap.

    I believe that now the black community have at last a voice through the Black Lives Matter campaign they are becoming much more challenging about the racism which is clearly evident in this country. This is so very empowering and way overdue. So now when the producers of Coronation Street have to publicly give a ‘so called’ apology for the racist comments in Coronation Street, it is only because of the growing movement of BLM that forces them to do thus.

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  13. I am half white and I was completely offended. It was racist. This isn’t an opinion it’s a fact!
    White people will never understand what the black man went through cos it doesn’t affect them.
    Do you not think comments made about Jews during the Nazi regime would be anti-Semitic.? This is no different. White people need to suffer for 400+ years like to black man did and just to add racism isn’t dead – it still exists today.

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  14. People people people. Put the idiocicy to 1 side. Now then most people don’t even know who kunta kinte is but it wasn’t a tasteful joke. Also all I see is people bitching about years of being black and having no rights, south africa discriminates against white people and do you hear us white people bitch constantly

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  15. I don’t understand all this. We are all human…why are we constantly trying to segregate everyone into groups? As long as you have people who will be constantly looking for ‘racist’ comments you will always have racism. We all have history…we should honour it and learn from it…but we shouldn’t live in the past. I am not going to take responsibility for what my ancestors did or what was done to them…that was their time…this is mine. I will make the most of it and will respect all people equally. Some may think this comment is coming from a ‘white’ person…but do you really know?

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  16. I think your comments on coronation street are right on the mark. Well done for your bravery. We shouldn’t let this racist’ bigotry’ show continue the get away with its deep seated racism. How on earth can there be a show that has never had a black family on the main cast. This is a disgrace and all the actors on this show should strike until they introduced a black family. If not then they too are showing there racist, bigotry tendencies

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  17. I think your comments on coronation street are right on the mark. Well done for your bravery. We shouldn’t let this racist’ bigotry’ show continue to get away with its deep seated racism. How on earth can there be a show that has never had a black family on the main cast. This is a disgrace and all the actors on this show should strike until they introduce a black family. If not then they too are showing their racist, bigotry tendencies

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