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Ghanaian-UK Writer Asks: Why Aren’t ‘Unapologetically Black’ US Artists Touring in Africa?

Avatar • May 31, 2016

20-year-old Ghanaian-UK writer Joel Ryan posted a very thought-provoking essay on his music site, Spike UK Online, that has sparked discussion on the relationship between Africans and Black Americans.

While many artists of late, including J Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce, have come out with music and statements that unequivocally affirm their blackness and/or pride in their African heritage, very few actually travel to the continent to entertain. This is puzzling given that Africa is home to many major cities, and a humongous fan base for Black American artists.

Ryan artfully discusses this disconnect in his essay Unapologetically Black But Won’t Tour In Africa;

Love all these American and even British artists using African influences in hair, clothes, music and more. It is so inspiring and makes me so proud to be black, so proud to be African and it really is changing the game. But when was the last time they went?

And no, I don’t mean when was the last time they gave money or the last time they went to Uganda to take pictures. I mean when was the last time they went to perform and really showcase their talent which Africa has so heavily influenced? Celebrities and artists who go on “world” tours only seem to go to western countries even when their musical production, choreography, lyrics and costume are heavily influenced by African countries. I’m really sorry guys but I’m afraid a date in South Africa doesn’t count- amazing as that is, it is the equivalent of saying ‘I ain’t racist, my best friend’s step-sister’s cousin is black’.

South Africa is an amazing country with so much history, influence and importance but there are 53 other countries in Africa. Going to one isn’t good enough and to be honest, it’s been a while since anyone big has even toured there.

I can’t get my head around it. I can imagine artists sitting there in a board meeting discussing dates and places and I don’t get how a whole continent can get missed out. A WHOLE CONTINENT. If you like your cornrow (Kim K Boxer-Braids), African print, afros and your negro nose, there are plenty of them in Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Angola, Tunisia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and many other countries.”

Ryan then points out that Africa holds many venues large enough to accommodate world tours and challenges the notion that safety concerns are prohibitive for travel around the continent. Finally, he highlights the few black artists (including Michael Jackson, Ciara, Chris Brown, and Michelle Williams) who have spent meaningful time performing in Africa.

Ryan was swiftly attacked by members of the ‘BeyHive’ who felt he was calling out Beyonce, to the point that he had added a disclaimer to his post explaining that he is a Beyonce fan, and has attended concerts of hers in the past. But he should not have to apologize in any way for starting such a meaningful dialogue.

Ladies what are your thoughts? You can read the full essay here.

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merry
merry
4 years ago

why do so many africans persist in acting like their countries are on par with those in europe? the only place a tour like beyonce’s could go to is maybe south africa where there are newer stadiums/performance venues and where more people can probably afford her $$$ tickets. even if, let’s say, there were places on par with europe, east asia and the u.s. to go to throughout the continent, how would they travel there? beyonce probably has a private jet, but what about everyone else? how do they get all around the continent? should they fly on african airlines… Read more »

Mka
Mka
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

Sigh.

GHAnana85
GHAnana85
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

Ridiculous…many European + American airlines fly to different countries in Africa. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, KLM. I’m sure many would agree that touring Europe would be more expensive if not equivalent to touring W Africa/Africa. The are many modern venues and looking at some of the comments I’m starting to get the notion that people still think Africans live in trees. My mother was at the Soul to souls concert in Ghana when Tina Turner visited, it would be amazing to see AA musicians in Africa. A lot of them are already jumping on Afrobeats tracks anyway.

merry
merry
4 years ago
Reply to  GHAnana85

it’s so untrue when you say they western airlines fly within africa. if they do, it is not a robust schedule. all you have to do is search flights from nairobi to johannesburg, lagos to wherever. all african airlines pop up.

and just so you know, a huge chunk of afrobeat is based on black american music. so.…

Mansi
Mansi
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

I’m sorry, you must be smoking something. PLENTY of African countries have stadiums fit to hold a NUMBER of people. JUST because YOU don’t know there are, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Ignorant. Secondly. African countries have some of the richest people in the WORLD who live there, with kids who are Just like some American kids, except, well, richer. Who do you think populates the number of international schools in these countries? The rich, where they pay thousands of DOLLARS in tuition fees. THIRDLY, what do you mean how would they get around??? PLENTY OF AIRLINES FLY AROUND AFRICA,… Read more »

idris
idris
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

it’s probably not nearly as easy to go to africa and tour as many other parts of the world — logistically, etc.” it was very easy for a bunch of boats to bring slaves to America but now it’s difficult to take a plane to go to Cameroon??? Please. China is way farther and expensive than Cameroon or Guinee

merry
merry
4 years ago
Reply to  idris

i’m not talking about flying to africa. i’m talking about actually mounting a tour within the continent. that was be expensive and difficult because of the infrastructure.

YS
YS
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

Soooo untrue on every level ” the only place a tour like beyonce’s could go to is maybe south africa
where there are newer stadiums/performance venues and where more people
can probably afford her $$$ tickets.” LOTS of assumptions here

YS
YS
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

Plus she has been to Nigeria before. Loads of other artists have and do.

YS
YS
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

😀 “should they fly on african airlines which have the worst safety records
in the world and aren’t allowed to land in the u.s. or w. europe?” Another erroneous assumption. Most major airlines traverse most African airports. United and Delta fly straight to the US from here and vice versa. Soooooo many assumptions tho!

merry
merry
4 years ago
Reply to  YS

i’m not talking about flying from the u.s. to nigeria or ethiopia. if you read closely, i said flying within the continent. that is very different. airlines like delta, air france, british air, etc. are not operating regular service WITHIN the continent. they are mostly touching down and leaving to return back to europe or u.s. they are not flying from lagos to nairobi. or, dakar to kampala. african airlines are doing this. and it is true, african airlines have the worst safety records. google is your friend. i don’t know of any that are allowed to land in the u.s.… Read more »

SANDRA
SANDRA
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

So , you’re proud to be black but you don’t embrace the roots of your blackness which is Africa ?? I’ll pray for you !!!

fromanotherplanet
fromanotherplanet
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

I am African and I agree with everything you said.

kaydenpat
kaydenpat
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

Kind of agree with you that many countries in Africa may not be appealing to major Black American entertainers. Not sure if the infrastructure is there to accommodate big artists like Beyoncé. It’s all about $$$ and logistics.

Xdbaam
Xdbaam
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

First, if Michael Jackson whose shows were phenomenal could perform in Africa ANY singer can do it. Secondly, the author of that essay bases his arguments on the fact that when one (Beyonce) spends his/her time claiming her African and Creole heritage well you may also tour in the continent you claim is part of your being instead of claiming it just to be “down”. Africans and Creoles are waiting for her or the others to actually add acts to their claim. Finally, as you wrote it since you Black Americans are descendants of African slaves well actually your culture has deep… Read more »

Xdbaam
Xdbaam
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

Ps: Beyonce’s sister Solange actually acts on her claim so why not Beyonce? Knowing that it cannot be because of logistic problems if the great and mighty Michael Jackson dit it.

sarah
sarah
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

the only place a tour like beyonce’s could go to is maybe south africa where there are newer stadiums/performance venues and where more people can probably afford her $$$ tickets.’ This exactly picture your level of ignorance about the african continent. What about Nigeria? Ivory Coast? Ghana? Am sorry but this level of stupidity is beyond everything..

Rachel Takyi-Mensah
Rachel Takyi-Mensah
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

Are you African? Your argument of people not being able to afford the prices of her tickets is a false statement. Contrary to popular belief there a lot of millionaires or rich people in African countries. You don’t even have to be one to afford her tickets. Don’t tell me that all Americans that attend her shows are. The richest black woman is an African who knocked Oprah Winfrey of her stool. There are also a lot of Americans, Europeans, and Asians living in African countries how do you think they got there by boat? And I don’t know where you… Read more »

sandra a
sandra a
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

I am African. Yes, a lot less people in Africa can afford Beyonce’s tickets than in other countries, I suppose. That does not mean that only a handful of people would turn up to the show. Africa’s middle class has grown tremendously over the years. Let’s not act like a Beyonce ticket would cost them a month’s wages. As for travelling to a destination within the continent, I can not even believe you mentioned that. How do you think people travel within Africa, to Africa or out of Africa? African countries do have their own airlines and other airlines travel… Read more »

Goooold
Goooold
4 years ago
Reply to  merry

exactly. not to mention the possibility of disease or infection..

Justice S
Justice S
4 years ago

People don’t like the truth and he spoke it.

Kimmie
Kimmie
4 years ago

Beyonce is the absolute worst when it comes to racial and race related things. Her lyrics are generally about labels and then my least favorite lyrics,“I stunt yellow bone it.” “Mix creole with the negro”… wait so if we are going back to 1800’s are we really claiming to be mixed? Even worse the colorism impacts Black women so much yet, she’s so proudly bragging about being “yellow” as if it’s a badge of honor for a celebrity to flaunt. Then her bringing up her ancestry from the past Native American, French and African American — guess what MOST African… Read more »

merry
merry
4 years ago
Reply to  Kimmie

i’m so glad i’m not the only one not on the beyonce wagon. i don’t get black women’s adoration of someone who brags about being a yellowbone.i’m reading negroland by margo jefferson and i’m reminded by beyonce at times. although anybody who knows black american history understands what’s going on when she talks about being yellow bone or creole.

Guestgal
Guestgal
4 years ago
Reply to  Kimmie

How about the truth that Beyonce was just stating a FACT because SHE IS part creole, which is a distinct culture with it’s own history, language, practices, etc?

cerulean blue 86
cerulean blue 86
4 years ago
Reply to  Kimmie

I’m not here for her “yellow bone” comment either. But the Creole aspect is not a reach. It’s all up and through her family’s first & surnames. This isn’t like she’s claiming Irish ancestry because one great-great-great-great grandparent was Irish. This is a pretty tangible ethnicity for her. African-Americans, like many ethnic groups, do have subcultures and subsets, and Creole is one. The Geechee/Gullah people in the Carolinas are another. And to say you’re “Creole” implies a mixture that includes African, it does not exclude African ancestry. That is why she uses the term “Creole” instead of saying “French” or… Read more »

Rose
Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Kimmie

Hahahahah!!! What is wrong with Beyonce proudly claiming her heritage? Guess what! A lot of black Americans like her are mixed with French, Caucasian, creole, everything along with African. Some of you black Americans are not honest with yourselves about your mixed ancestry. She identifies perfectly with black Americans by being racially mixed as she is.

nzssa
nzssa
4 years ago
Reply to  Kimmie

I thought the opposite actually: many Black Americans share this same heritage, but not as many have it actually play a role in their upbringing like it would if you lived down South. How can you say she is separating herself when the entire music video showcased Black culture- rich, poor or otherwise? She had Katrina footage, funeral parades, black high school marching bands, the beauty shop! I don’t understand why there aren’t any tour stops in Africa, but her videos have every shade black I’ve ever seen

Natasha
Natasha
4 years ago
Reply to  Kimmie

Beyonce’s mom is creoleand she isn’t bragging about being light skin. Just because she mentions her skin tone it doesn’t mean she’s hating on people who are darker than her. You’re just looking for something to get upset about.

Natasha
Natasha
4 years ago
Reply to  Kimmie

And yes I’m aware creole people have African ancestry

LondonGirl
LondonGirl
4 years ago
Reply to  Kimmie

I agree that most African American’s are mixed. Averages are around 25% European.

Beyonce making a big deal about her mixed heritage strikes me as a bit off too. Afro-Latinos, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Americans are all mixed people.

wakakaja
wakakaja
4 years ago

This is a good-ass question! One I’ve never considered before, actually. There’s a fanbase for it, possible collaborations galore.

StraightShooter
StraightShooter
4 years ago

The African diaspora is just as important as Africa. Black Americans have our own culture, even if it still young. I’m tired of Africans acting as if they are owed something from Black Americans. When will Africans try to genuinely understand our struggle, culture, and the impact that OUR culture has had?

Mka
Mka
4 years ago

I’m sorry you feel this way. I am Kenyan, and it has never EVER crossed my mind that an African-American owes me for some reason. In fact, sometimes I feel like Africa failed you. I, like the writer, do wonder how long artists in general don’t include is in their tours. Can’t you see how this would be insulting to us? The irony that this is also true of black artists who seem to be proud of their African ancestry isn’t lost on me.

StraightShooter
StraightShooter
4 years ago
Reply to  Mka

The tension between Africans and Black Americans runs deep. It doesn’t matter if it is insulting to you. You all have done and said plenty to insult us. We were sold down the river into slavery by Africans. Again the tension truly runs deep. Genetically we are linked, but every portion of our culture isn’t linked to Africa. It is pretentious to suggest that. Being proud of your race, doesn’t mean we need to kow-tow.

Although, you say it is not expected that isn’t true.

Mka
Mka
4 years ago

I feel like we aren’t communicating. I never said that every portion of your culture is linked to Africa, and I certainly didn’t mean to imply it. And what tension are you referring to? Where is the evidence? Did you visit an African country and get treated badly? Tension is the word they use to describe the Middle East! It’s a bit much to claim that “we all” have done plenty to insult you. Such generalizations are dangerous and are the root of bigotry.

Mr logical guy
Mr logical guy
4 years ago

What is black American culture by the way? Don’t seem to be serving us too well.

Ani. M.
Ani. M.
4 years ago

I can see that you have had experiences that led to you feeling this way, but I have to disagree. I am African and I have never expected anything from Black Americans. Rather, I have experienced a lot of negativity from many of them. I came to the U.S. with an open outlook on Black Americans, and even more so than whites, many of them (not all) made every effort to let me know that I didn’t belong. The most racist things that I have heard have come from Black Americans. Yet how many of them know anything about Africa?… Read more »

StraightShooter
StraightShooter
4 years ago
Reply to  Ani. M.

I know that it was West Africans that sold my ancestors into slavery. However, I don’t believe that there is any information about the specific ethnic groups. Many enslaved people came from Gambia, Senegal, Angola, and parts of the Congo. The reason you ask this, is because there is no expectation for you or any other African to know about our experience. Have you heard of the word akata? It’s slur used against Black Americans, by none other than Africans. Of course when my ancestors first arrived here they weren’t Black Americans, but that is what I am. Present day… Read more »

Ani. M.
Ani. M.
4 years ago

The author of the article did not say Black Americans owed Africans anything. I did not say that either. You seem to harbor deep grudges against Africans, and that is sad. If you are interested, you can find out which groups participated in the slave trade. Maybe that will help you, since you seem to insist that all West Africans sold your ancestors into slavery. My ancestors did not participate; most ethnic groups did not sell people. So please stop painting everyone with the same incorrect brushstrokes in order to validate your prejudices. I only pointed out my bit of… Read more »

Rose
Rose
4 years ago

I’ve never in my life met an African who wants something from black Americans. Africans tend to excel without begging for handouts, which is something a lot of black Americans don’t do in the United States. Conversely, black Americans are always expecting Obama, in particular, to “do something” for them.

fromanotherplanet
fromanotherplanet
4 years ago

I am African and I agree with you 100%.

Rachel Takyi-Mensah
Rachel Takyi-Mensah
4 years ago

I don’t think the writer is trying to say your culture means nothing and isn’t yours. He is only saying it is also heavily influenced by African pieces ( by the examples he gave of music) so it would be nice to get to share the experience with you. What you are saying sounds like people coming to Africa for Cocoa beans, going back to their countries to develop chocolate out of them and then saying you don’t deserve to taste some of it even though we are willing to pay for it. When an artist produces a song and… Read more »

Happy
Happy
4 years ago

Probably because when celebs go on tour it’s for profit, not because they just feel like it so they go where they get the most bang for their buck. And celebs do go to African countries for appearances, concerts etc. I know many big name artists perform in Nigeria at least but idk about other African countries. However, it’s true that they don’t go as part of their tour per se.

Guestgal
Guestgal
4 years ago

To the Black Americans commenting and expressing their laments about Africans, may I just add that many if not most Black Americans are just as ignorant about African countries as Africans are about Black Americans. You guys want to wear made-in-China dashikis but can’t name which ethnicities in Africa wear them. You rock afros claiming it connects you to the “motherland”, even though afros are a black American thing, not African. And the statement that “nowhere in Africa has proper amenities” is complete rubbish. The MTV Africa Music Awards is held almost every year in African countries besides South Africa.… Read more »

fromanotherplanet
fromanotherplanet
4 years ago
Reply to  Guestgal

Girl, no. I do not understand why you are trying to make this an African vs Black American battle. Can we Africans just receive criticism without resorting to ” but but but black Americans do this and black Americans do that??” Most Westerners, black Americans included, are ignorant about Africa. I am not excusing the behavior but why are you bringing it up? Are you not capable of accepting criticism without resorting to the blame game? I am African, born and bred, and I agree with everything the black Americans on here are saying. Africans like to act as if black… Read more »

lis
lis
4 years ago

Thank you babes.

Mka
Mka
4 years ago

Heh. You are totally right about the lack of support of our own artists. All these comments make me see that the problem Africans have is that we want to import everything, even entertainment.

Guestgal
Guestgal
4 years ago

I agree with and am aware of some of your points. However, you stated yourself that there are large enough venues to support top artists. Even if there are few, they still exist and the problem is that many people don’t realize that. Just look at how the first few comments were expressing how artist don’t tour because there are no acceptable venues on the entire continent. I am not critical of people who critize African countries, I am critical of people who believe Africa is one giant impoverished wasteland and critize the continent using tired narratives. Yes, I am… Read more »

Another African
Another African
4 years ago

I wish you’d made your points without talking down to the commenter before you. There’s room for both of your truths. I also wish you hadn’t been so indignant and self righteous towards “Africans” in general. Also, many if not most Africans were not complicit in the TransAtlantic slave trade. Some just didn’t participate one way or another, others participated in the Indian Ocean slave trade and have their own issues in that way, others actively resisted slavery by fighting against the colonizers or by fighting against being enslaved ourselves. Can we stop painting with broad strokes here? Your anger… Read more »

Silvia
Silvia
4 years ago

So much truth has been poke here such that it has made me comment on this site for the first time after reading it for the past two years. I have been born and bred in Kenya and one thing that really annoys me is the education system in teaching our own history. We only get bits and pieces for the pre-colonial time which is kind of saddening. I totally agree with you, while Africa is misconceived on so many levels, we Africans are sometimes not any better at changing this narrative. I feel like this should be whole essay. Would… Read more »

Lucia Broeidt
Lucia Broeidt
4 years ago
Reply to  Guestgal

Some of your claims are ignorant. Most Africans are very clued up about American, African-American, Hispanic-American (etc) culture, as it is fed to us daily. America is a “closed off” country and teach their people very little about the rest off the world (eg the only feeds Americans about Africa’s pity story) but because America is such a powerful house on earth, the rest of world learn all there is about them. America is like the most popular kid at school. Everyone (or many) want to be like her, so they find out what clothing label she wears, what car she… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
4 years ago
Reply to  Guestgal

You rock afros claiming it connects you to the “motherland”, even though afros are a black American thing, not African. ”

So people in Africa have historically been known to straighten their hair? OK then…

Jackson
Jackson
4 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

no we wear afros because its our natural hair texture. I think people forget African Americans( black people who ancestors came from Africa who were most likely sold to the “white man” by other africans, are Americans first so our culture is different whether people want to believe it or not African Americans, have such a mix diverse culture we are mix with many other thing other than just african, masta wasn’t just raping one slave.People who have slavery descendants been in the United States for centuries.Of course we are black but we are not African, we are American, why… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
4 years ago
Reply to  Guestgal

You rock afros claiming it connects you to the “motherland”, even though afros are a black American thing, not African. ”

So people in Africa have historically been known to straighten their hair? OK then…

fromanotherplanet
fromanotherplanet
4 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Right? The ignorance I tell you. And this user has already admitted that she has never visited her home country in Africa. Most of the people making these crazy allegations are usually diaspora Africans with very little connection to the continent smh

alani
alani
4 years ago

Ok. This guy is in the UK complaining that African Americans don’perform in Africa. Doe anyone besides me see the hypocracy in this statement?

Ricki Lee
Ricki Lee
4 years ago
Reply to  alani

No? Please elaborate…

Soffy
Soffy
4 years ago

Being a mindless sheep is the order of the day. Too many of us spend more time learning how to “beat, bake and fluff to the gods” instead of spending time thinking or learning about things that really matter. I say this without shame, I stopped being a Beyonce fan yearssss ago and as a matter of fact, I don’t support ANY pop culture puppet who only care about leading the masses astray and keeping people blinded. Everybody wanna be BLACK but simultaneously disown being AFRICAN. Kmt!

cerulean blue 86
cerulean blue 86
4 years ago

“I’m really sorry guys but I’m afraid a date in South Africa doesn’t count- amazing as that is, it is the equivalent of saying ‘I ain’t racist, my best friend’s step-sister’s cousin is black’.” Ummm, no. Black-American artists are NOT the equivalent of this non-Black potentially racist person of his hypothetical with no connection to Blackness other than a distant non-blood related acquaintance simply because they’ve only been to South Africa. Dude. No. He can take a seat with that comparison. Their Blackness is not conditional and cannot be removed because they don’t meet his stamp of approval. Like, make your… Read more »

YS
YS
4 years ago

Maxwell came to perform in Nigeria a few years ago. Wasn’t part of a tour I dont think, but a one off Valentines day show. Venue was packed to the rafters and he seemed really surprised everyone knew the words to all his songs 😀 to the point where he started taking requests, asking people what they wanted to hear and we were bellowing his entire catalogue back at him 😀 He was shocked, and seemed really touched too. Will never forget it. Bey has been here too, as well as Jay Z. And most recently Lauryn Hill. Most of… Read more »

Lucia Broeidt
Lucia Broeidt
4 years ago

Nothing I find more annoying then these musicians that have been forgotten like Keith Sweat, Babyface etc trying to come make some extra money in Africa. Yes, here in South Africa we’re luckier then the rest of the continent and get more relevant artists almost every other month but goddamn don’t come if your last hit was in the 90’s.

kb
kb
4 years ago
Reply to  Lucia Broeidt

You do know these still tour in the US though, And Keith releases new albums like every year.

Itumeleng
Itumeleng
4 years ago
Reply to  Lucia Broeidt

I agree totally, but Ciara went to South Africa remember? Pharell has been to South Africa as well as other prominent ones I can’t think of at the moment. I am a Tswana from both Botswana and South Africa and can say for the former country, we’re not that much into Hip hop and R and B like the latter. I think Jazz and Gospel is a bigger hit in Botswana, besides most countries in Africa just don’t have the infrastructure and demand for this type of music. Its best they stick to Western venues. Africans have bigger problems than whether… Read more »

Kiara
Kiara
4 years ago

It seems like some of these comments have a measure of disdain for what the author was trying to say. That is very unfortunate. He is simply saying if you are proud of being African American then why wouldnt you connect to those who represent Africa in its purest form, and that would be the people. You are correct we should never forget those links. Black American culture may have its own spices but the main ingredients comes from the motherland. As a 16 year old African American my parents have taught me that and I respect that fact.

xdbaam
xdbaam
4 years ago
Reply to  Kiara

This is exactly what I was saying, read it more accurately. Peace

merry
merry
4 years ago

i say that because beyonce’s stuff is gonna be more complicated to mount that most other performers. there are venues in the u.s. she would perform in because they can’t handle her show, etc.

cerulean blue 86
cerulean blue 86
4 years ago

Again, what is with these analogies comparing Black Americans to someone taking from you? Black Americans brought those things with us because they were already ours. We did not go into African countries to take anything. Let’s be clear about that distinction and let’s also not pretend like the cultural influences don’t work both ways.

cerulean blue 86
cerulean blue 86
4 years ago

Black Americans are pretty honest about the elements of their ancestry that they know. I’m not sure why you’ve framed it like we’ve been hiding something on purpose to fool the world or to delude ourselves. Some have very high mixtures while others have extremely low mixtures. It varies. The U.S is huge and every state has it’s own history, so then it logically follows that one Black-American person’s lineage from State A is NOT going to automatically match the lineage of the next Black-American person from State B. Example- One side of my family hails from the Mississippi/Alabama region,… Read more »

cerulean blue 86
cerulean blue 86
4 years ago

Some of you black Americans are not honest with yourselves about your mixed ancestry”

Hmm, then again. Maybe the question is why does it concern you so much?

Anonymous
Anonymous
4 years ago

Most people (the writer of that dumb essay included) are ignorant of the logistics that go into touring. Artists don’t randomly pick and choose where they’re gonna perform, they go where it makes the most sense financially to invest money into travel, venue and hotel bookings and elaborate stage setups. Let’s not kid ourselves, not every country in Africa has the infrastructure, demand or even the political stability for a superstar like Beyonce to host a concert in. This is a fact. And it’s not unique to Africa, either. Most of Asia is off limits to the vast majority of… Read more »

Ricki Lee
Ricki Lee
4 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

But if Chris Brown and Ciara can do it, then it goes without saying that a Beyoncé with more money and a larger fan base would be able to do it. So your argument falls a bit flat. However, I agree that there are satisfactory arguments as to why they haven’t toured Africa, I just don’t agree with this particular one completely. Personally, if I were a touring artist, I would have personal issues touring in countries that have questionable or non existent human rights. That’s one reason why I would why away from some African and indeed Asian nations.… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
4 years ago

Most people (the writer of that stupid essay included) are ignorant of the logistics that go into touring. Artists don’t randomly pick and choose where they’re gonna perform, they go where it makes the most sense financially to invest money into travel, venue and hotel bookings and elaborate stage setups. Let’s not kid ourselves, not every country in Africa has the infrastructure, demand or even the political stability for a superstar like Beyonce to host a concert in. This is a fact. And it’s not unique to Africa, either. Most of Asia is off limits to the vast majority of… Read more »

Guest
Guest
4 years ago

. Africans tend to excel without begging for handouts, which is something a lot of black Americans don’t do in the United States. “–Lol! Yet you Africans can’t seem to excel in your own country while getting handouts from the rest of the entire world.

How quickly you Africans forget that it was black Americans that “did something” for you in order for you to come here and “excel” and not need anymore of those handouts to survive.

The irony in your ignorant comment is oh so rich. Simply hilarious!!!

Guest
Guest
4 years ago

There are people who just don’t like her, and will never be satisfied with anything she does. That’s the way it is.

Anonymous
Anonymous
4 years ago

Most people (the writer of that dumb essay included) are ignorant of the logistics that go into touring. Artists don’t randomly pick and choose where they’re gonna perform, they go where it makes the most sense financially to invest money into travel, venue and hotel bookings and elaborate stage setups. Let’s not kid ourselves, not every country in Africa has the infrastructure, demand or even the political stability for a superstar like Beyonce to host a concert in. This is a fact. And it’s not unique to Africa, either. Most of Asia is off limits to the vast majority of… Read more »

fromanotherplanet
fromanotherplanet
4 years ago

Thank you for this. I know I came off a bit abrasive but I was just very frustrated with my fellow Africans when I wrote the comment. I am tired of us blaming everyone else and never seeking proactive solutions. Yes, the Western capitalist machine and Western imperialism caused and continues to cause most of our problems but we if we want to move past this, we need to work together and find practical solutions. America is not going to help us. Europe is not going to help us. They benefit from our raw materials so why would they? What… Read more »

fromanotherplanet
fromanotherplanet
4 years ago

I admit that I might have come across as a bit abrasive but when you are born and bred in Africa, you get tired of these diaspora Africans on the internet, pointing fingers at every non-African and refusing to acknowledge that Africans are sometimes complicit in their tribulations. That is why I went off because I deal with this everyday. It is so easy for diaspora Africans to sit in their fancy apartments with their high speed internet and Western passports and blame every non-African on the planet. When you actually live in the motherland, it is a very different… Read more »

TWA4now
TWA4now
4 years ago

They should be allowed to tour where ever they want and what will produce the most exposure for them. It’s theur tour and decision.

Imagination84
Imagination84
4 years ago
Reply to  TWA4now

What a in depth opinion and/or answer. It is not about what they should be allowed to do. That is not what the article was trying to push or put out there. It was posing a question that I’ve wondered myself. Why aren’t they touring Africa? I’m unsure of how many albums they sell in different countries, but that would be good to know.

maralondon
maralondon
4 years ago

There are plenty of reggae artist who visit Africa. I watched a youtube video recently of Anthony Hamilton performing in Kenya. But I guess the article is directed at the mainstream artists.

maralondon
maralondon
4 years ago

Me neither.

TWA4now
TWA4now
4 years ago

Well, it’s their choice…it won’t stop my flow…

SANDRA
SANDRA
4 years ago

LOL, if you knew more about the western and central african tribes, you would know that AA still carry some of the traditions ( without even knowing ). Especially when it comes to the food. ( gumbo, yams and so on …)

Stephanie Ann
Stephanie Ann
4 years ago
Reply to  SANDRA

Known and acknowledged… btw… I study ALL cultures of the African Diaspora… I thought I made it clear that I do embrace my African roots, but since it seems necessary, allow me to clarify it succinctly… Our African-ness is inherently part of us. However, We (African-Americans) DO NOT OWE any other culture anything. Respectfully… don’t overlook the influence that African-American culture has had on the rest of the world.

SenegalStyle Sineta George
SenegalStyle Sineta George
4 years ago

African Customs… everywhere, fill in the blank country, and he knows it. they TAX (or take) EVERYTHING, from their sound equipment to their clothing both personal and merchandise. 99.9% of the time it gets seized because the artists balk at having to pay for items they already paid for (it’s theirs.…) and THEY the ‘officials’ turn around and sell it themselves. The writer lives in the UK — if Ghana is so great why is he in the UK? ‘Unapologetically black’ doesn’t work in Africa because they are AFRICAN and not Black Americans are NOT CONTINENTAL AFRICANS — they rob… Read more »

SenegalStyle Sineta George
SenegalStyle Sineta George
4 years ago

African Customs… everywhere, fill in the blank country, and he knows it. they TAX (or take) EVERYTHING, from their sound equipment to their clothing both personal and merchandise. 99.9% of the time it gets seized because the artists balk at having to pay for items they already paid for (it’s theirs.…) and THEY the ‘officials’ turn around and sell it themselves.

SANDRA
SANDRA
4 years ago

Thanks for clarifying and I will never deny the fact that African americans are the most influentual blacks in the world.
Of course, AA don’t owe anything to anyone.
Kudos for studying all cultures of the African diaspora. I don’t know how you did that !!!

Amy Adams
Amy Adams
4 years ago

The thing is artists don’t control where they go. They have tour managers that pick the cities they go to and dates they perform on

CHL
CHL
4 years ago
Reply to  Amy Adams

Not necessarily. Some cities are a must in a world tour line up of course (NYC, LA, London, Paris, Tokyo, Rio), but as long as they’re making a large profit it doesn’t matter where they go. Some artist will omit certain cities if they have problems with political issues they advocate for (Lady Gaga has canceled dates over political issues such as countries denying gay rights).
All in all, artist have a hand in where they want to go.

Sabrina black
Sabrina black
4 years ago

Overstandable?

Kimmie
Kimmie
4 years ago

Not at all, but clearly you don’t understand the damage colorism has made on Black women so you wouldn’t understand. I’m a lighter skin Black woman myself, my mom’s family is from Louisiana and are also Creole, but everyone still calls themselves Black. Beyonce refers to herself as mixed with Creole and Negro, and this is shortly after she brags about “yellow boning” it is “owning it”. Don’t read between the lines listen to what’s there. Thanks.

Kayla V.
4 years ago

You had one job Beyhive…ONE JOB! lol.

On a serious note, I think Beyonce would appreciate the food for thought. She in no way seems like the type of person to be salty about a post like his.

If she’s not mad, the hive shouldn’t be. lol.

browngoddess12
browngoddess12
4 years ago

To be honest, I have to agree. I understand that Africa is always left out of the equation and the economy is “Better” in other parts of the world. I also understand that South Africa’s emerging economy makes it a “better” destination. But African American arists (despite what some of them might think) really do influence people in Africa. I know there is are some “unspoken” cultural differences and disagreements between the two groups but they have large fan bases on the continent and in my experience, are loved there. Just look at their music charts, Formation alone was at… Read more »

Guest
Guest
4 years ago

I read the whole article–good points were made. I did find the Beyhive disclaimer hilarious though.

Guestgal
Guestgal
4 years ago

Agreed!

Rose
Rose
4 years ago

My issue with this is numbers, logistics. I agree with the comment from “merry” below. The cost for plane trips, busing, and travel would be absurd. It is hard enough to bus within a region of a wealthier African nation like Nigeria. It would be absurd to expect Beyonce’s crew to bus around places where even citizens of that nation don’t want to bus. Security IS a big issue when you are a FEMALE and the most popular artist in the WHOLE WORLD. Also, I think it is a bit odd for someone with Beyonce’s image to tour in a… Read more »

Mka
Mka
4 years ago
Reply to  Rose

I have to say, your assessment is fair.

fromanotherplanet
fromanotherplanet
4 years ago

I cannot with these think pieces. I simply cannot. Everyone is trying to get social media famous with these obfuscating think pieces.

Well, I am from “Africa” and I have been to quite a few “concerts” in the motherland and let us call a thing a thing. Between the shady organiziers, the run down venues, the poor security, dilapidated infrastructure etc etc, do you really expect to attract successful black entertainers in the diaspora??? Goodbye.

P.S — Beyonce has toured Nigeria and Ethiopia and she sang the Nigerian anthem while in Nigeria.

Mka
Mka
4 years ago

Africa has 50 something countries? You’ve been to all the stadiums in all the countries???

Mackenzie Irick Milks
Mackenzie Irick Milks
4 years ago

He is absolutely right. If we as African Americans can make our way to Europe and Asia, we can dang sure make our way to the Continent. Especially if the content of our artistry is heavily inspired by said Continent. If she did an entirely Asian themed tour, I’m sure numerous Asian countries would be on the tour schedule. I’m not an artist, but I’ll try to be more aware in the future.

Richard Laurent
Richard Laurent
4 years ago

LondonGirl
LondonGirl
4 years ago

I love Africa and travel to the continent often for work but here is the reality. The infrastructure and security situation make it very expensive to tour. While the middle class is growing, there are not enough affluent people to pay for expensive concert tickets. Touring is a money making operation and if you don’t have enough people to sell tickets at a high enough price to cover the costs and make everyone involved a tidy profit, its not going to happen.

Mka
Mka
4 years ago
Reply to  LondonGirl

I see your point. However, Africa is a continent. Which countries in Africa have you been to? Which cities? I don’t think the writer is suggesting that artists should tour all of them and though I agree that the infrastructure is nowhere as good as in the West, its passable in most capital cities.

Silvia
Silvia
4 years ago

Clearly everyone here has their own opinion. What I like about the essay is that it raises the underlying issue of how Africans, Black Americans and Africans in the diaspora perceive each other. We all have those misconceptions we have been told about the other group (heck I know I do). It would be interesting to know, see, hear, learn what these misconceptions are in an essay or documentary format. All in all, I like that it opens up the space for dialogue

Pearl
Pearl
4 years ago

I don’t think people in the continent are complaining about Beyonce not coming there to perform. The concert ticket will be ridiculouly expensive considering the dollar exchange rates, her entourage, lodging, security and just pretty much catering to an American diva to keep and her crew comfortable. Many people have better things to do with money than to waste it on a Beyonce concert.

ErnaSheree
ErnaSheree
4 years ago

K. Dot and B are unapologeticly Black American. I’m pretty sure J Cole is too. There’s a difference.

Stephanie Ann
Stephanie Ann
4 years ago

Great question! As a Black/African-American in America I am un-apologetically proud of my African ancestry and I embrace every opportunity I possibly can to connect with my cousins throughout the African Diaspora. However, I am very cognizant that I am a descendant of enslaved Africans brought to the United States that survived and became a culture all their own, and a culture that fought and continues to fight for a fair quality of life. I can’t speak on the sentiments of all of us in the Americas… but while we are all intrinsically African, we are inherently a culture of… Read more »

Nzinga Mbanda
3 years ago

I commented the following on Ryan’s article, and I’ll repeat myself here. Here are a few reason’s why. Pay REAL close attention to the last “maybe.” Maybe because continental Africans keep accusing Beyonce and other Black Americans of cultural appropriation. Maybe because every time Black Americans bring up the topic of Africa, continental Africans tell us about how they despise us all because they were teased by a few Black American children when they were young. Maybe because when Black Americans go to Ghana, Ghanaians call us obruni like we don’t know that’s an insult. Maybe because Black Americans are tired… Read more »

wale
wale
3 years ago

I hate talks like this.… this a time more than ever to be Unified…divisive talk does nothing… there are many positive interactions especially nowadays between peopke of the continent and africans in america .… study are artist like Fela kuti and listen to the message. Lastly this is willy lynch devide and concur that is occurring..but in a self impossed fashion. There is no reason for it..the same ppl who black ppl in america dead want blacks of africa dead…We are one people.

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