Akon caught a lot of heat after his remarks on Black Americans and slavery.
During an interview with VladTv, the 47-year-old artist claimed Senegalese people no longer think about slavery, claiming that they have “overcome” its horrors as opposed to African Americans.
“In Senegal, we’ve kind of overcome the thought of slavery; we don’t even think about it,” he said. “The only time we think about it, honestly, is when we’re doing tours at Goree Island. Outside of that, people have lived and moved way beyond the slavery concept …”
According to Complex, Akon then said Black Americans would benefit by “letting go” of slavery.
“I think it’s the art of just letting the past go and moving towards the future,” he continued. “And I think, in the U.S., they have this stigma of just not letting go of the past and blaming the past on every mishap or, you know, disappointment. I think as long as you hold onto that past, there’s a lot of weight that you carry with you everywhere you go. It’s hard to move forward and move fast when you got a weight on your back. You just gotta let it go.”
Akon feels as if African Americans would be better off if they “understand their worth” and accept that America will never make up for their racist history.
“They’re not sorry. They don’t care. It’s obvious,” he said, before encouraging Black people to move to Africa. “Do you want to stay here and continued to be treated this way? Or just go back home, where you’re not no longer the minority. You actually are the majority, and you control your destiny, your future, and your land … They just need to go … America did a good job at brainwashing. The moment you mention Africa, they start shaking. They don’t even know why.”
Per usual, when a celebrity speaks out on controversial issues, they receive a lot of criticism on social media, Akon was no exception to the rule.
One Twitter user said, “We’ve kind of overcome the thought of slavery, we don’t even think about it. The only time we think about it is when we’re giving tours at Goree Island….This is why Akon nor any other immigrant should speak on ADOS issues. #LineageMatters.”
While another added, “Akon does speak for all Senegalese when he say s*** like Black Americans need to move on from slavery and forget about it Na fam… I’m a Senegalese that still think about it cuz it created decades of destruction.”