Burna Boy, one of the most popular and influential Afrobeats artists in the world, has faced a lot of criticism from some African-Americans who felt offended by his recent remarks about their connection to Africa. In an interview that went viral on social media, Burna Boy was asked why it was important for the diaspora to come home. He replied that it would help them understand their identity, and how to deal with the challenges they face in America.
He said that other ethnic groups, such as Chinese-Americans and Italian-Americans, have more confidence and leverage, because they have ties to their ancestral lands. He also said that African-Americans tend to know very little about Africa and its history, culture and diversity. He suggested that if they cannot get what they want from America, such as land and reparations, they should consider coming back to Africa.
His comments sparked a lot of backlash from some African-Americans who felt that he was dismissing their struggles and identity as Americans. They argued that they have a different history and experience from Africans who were not enslaved or colonized by Europeans. They also claimed that they have contributed a lot to America’s development and culture, and that they deserve respect and recognition for their achievements.
Some of them also questioned Burna Boy’s credibility and authenticity as an African artist who has benefited from African-American music genres such as hip-hop, R&B and reggae. They accused him of being ignorant, arrogant and hypocritical for telling them what to do with their lives.
Burna Boy Responds to Backlash From the Black Community in America
Burna Boy took to Instagram on March 19 to clarify his comments and express his support for reparations. He wrote: “I never said you are African and not American. I also did not say Africa is part of Heaven. You deserve all the Land and reparations you want from America, and I’m 100% in support of that…All I’ve ever done is try to make you understand that you have Africa too that loves you, and I believe coming together as brothers and sisters is the only way forward for US black people worldwide”.
He also said that he was saddened by the fact that some black people wanted to see him as an enemy instead of a brother. He said that he loved all black people regardless of where they came from or lived. He said that he believed that the only way for black people to win in this world was by uniting and supporting each other.
He ended his post by saying: “You work against the progress of our people worldwide if your goal is to keep us divided”. That’s some deep stuff right there, that really makes you think.
Burna Boy mentioning he supports reparation is powerful, because here in America many social justice activists such as Tariq Nasheed are fighting tirelessly to see the promises that were written into law after slavery fulfilled. His “Rally 4 Reparations” event had a massive crowd of supporters.
Burna Boy’s response received mixed reactions from his fans and followers. Some praised him for standing by his words and trying to bridge the gap between Africans and African-Americans. Others criticized him for being defensive and insensitive to the realities of racism and oppression in America.
Burna Boy is not the first African artist who has faced controversy over his views on African-American issues. In 2019, Davido was accused of being disrespectful when he said that he did not consider himself an African-American because he was born in Atlanta, but raised in Nigeria.
The debate over the relationship between Africans and African-Americans is not new either. It has been going on for decades, with different perspectives and arguments on both sides. Some argue that there is a common bond between them based on their shared ancestry, history and struggle against white supremacy. Others argue that there are significant differences between them based on their cultural, political and economic experiences.
Regardless of where one stands on this issue, it is clear that there is a need for more dialogue and understanding between Africans and African-Americans. They both face similar challenges and opportunities in this globalized world, and they both have a lot to offer each other in terms of knowledge, skills, creativity and solidarity.