Tuesday, 8 March 2011

African American Separatism


Jill Scott is a successful African-American singer and above is a link to her column in an edition of essence, which is a magazine, aimed at African-American women.
Her article is about interracial dating and how she was appalled that one of her friends had married a white woman. I found this interesting, as views like this were common in the videos I looked at featuring Black Panther members etc, and although they had an obviously more extremist view on black separatism than Jill, her view can still be attributed to being a supporter of African American separatism as she doesn’t want black people to marry white people. The fact that she said this is even more surprising that she is a successful woman who seems to be constantly in the limelight of the American public and therefore isn’t the typical type of person who would make controversial views like this as they may be worried about it affecting their status and music sales.

In the article she states that she “winced” when she found out that one of her African-American friends married a black woman. She says that she felt this because of the history of slavery in America, and as in the past a black man could be killed for looking at a white woman, it is now a betrayal of his ancestors to marry someone who isn’t black. This shows a total refusal to acknowledge how times have changed since slavery in America, and although there obviously is still racism around in present day America, it should still be seen as a step forward for the attitude in the country that black people can freely marry white women and most people aren’t bothered at all. Instead, Jill seems to want to focus on the racism in America fifty years ago, rather than acknowledging that times have changed and embracing the fact that people can marry whoever they want regardless of skin colour. Despite her defence of her view, saying that it isn’t separatist, I feel that it obviously is, and that just because it isn’t a more drastic view, such as total separatism, then she is allowed to say these things, and that if a white woman was to say that white men shouldn’t marry black women, there may have been a lot more uproar than there was over Jill Scott’s article.

Also below is a video of Jill Scott defending her views in a news interview.

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