Burna Boy Responds To Backlash After Remarks About Africa And African-Americans

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Burna Boy has now clarified his remarks about the African diaspora and returning to the continent of Africa after receiving backlash from social media.

In a video posted via Twitter on Friday (March 17), activist Chaka Bars posed the question “Why is it important that the diaspora come home?” to the Grammy-winning Nigerian artist. Burna responded that African-Americans are unaware of where their roots stem from in Africa.

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“Let’s use America,” Burna Boy began before inquiring, “Why do you think the Chinese American has their respect?”

He answered his own question detailing, “The Chinese-American has a base. He knows he’s from China. The Italian-American knows where their grandparents came from in Italy. They know the first person from their family to come to America and start that line to make them Italian-American. Same goes to everyone else except the African-American. How can an African-American and an Italian American be on the same field when… .” See below.

Social media responded to the short clip with criticism that Burna Boy left out important details about the African slave trade. Others made comments that the majority of Black Americans are descendants of slaves and not immigrants who migrated here willingly, unlike the cultures he mentioned.

One Twitter user said, “He skipped the whole history of African involvement in the slave trade and what that has meant for us. You can’t have a conversation with us without addressing that. So no he didn’t tell the truth he told the lord that you all have accepted as truth.”

Another person wrote, “The argument isn’t that Black Americans don’t have Sub Saharan African genome/ancestry. The point is that you’re dismissing the foundational history of Black Americans in the US.”

Burna Boy then took to Instagram Story on Tuesday (March 21) to clear up what he initially said.

“It’s sad to see that in 2023 there are still such black people who would prefer we stay divided and conquered,” he wrote. “Maybe it’s my accent or something but I never said you are African and not Americans. 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.”

People react to speakers during a special Board of Supervisors hearing about reparations in San Francisco.
People react to speakers during a special Board of Supervisors hearing about reparations in San Francisco.

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Declaring that his purpose has always been to unite Black Americans with Africa, he added, “All I’ve ever tried to do is 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. You work against the progress of our people worldwide if your goal is to keep us divided.”

Check out his statement below and Burna Boy’s initial sentiments above.

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