Kanye slammed for slavery comment - Many influential J'cans feel like West, Kheru says

May 03, 2018
Ka'Bu Ma'at Kheru
Kanye West

Ka'Bu Ma'at Kheru, a popular reggae host whose poetry collection 'Making Kenke From Memory: A Sankofic Journey' was published in late 2017, is

taking rapper Kanye West's comments about slavery as a publicity stunt. Still, she emphasises repeatedly that it shows the need to decolonise the school curriculum so that young people, especially, will have the information and critical analysis skills required to deal with statements of that nature.

An ongoing media furore

started on Tuesday after West, speaking about slavery in the USA during an interview with the website, TMZ, said: "When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years, that sounds like choice. You was there for 400 years, and it's all of y'all?"

"I am of the view that Kanye is being sensational for the sake of publicity," Kheru said. "I won't get into the conversation about his mental health; I won't know that."


Adjustment needed in education system


What she is certain about, though, is that West's comments, given his popularity and hence influence, show the need for an adjustment in the education system, not only in the US but in Jamaica, and further afield.

"He is an influential person and he can impact many young persons," Kheru said. So she is insistent that the education system needs to be changed "so people who are coming into contact with what Kanye said can, through critical thinking, rubbish what he said on one side or the other."

Kheru said: "Kanye is not the only one who thinks this way." "What Kanye said has been said many times by influential people."

West has used Jamaican popular music extensively, utilising the talents of Assassin/Agent Sasco, Beenie Man, Capleton and a sample of Noel 'Rozah Rose' Ellis' Dance With Me on his song All Day. West also spoke about persons being mentally imprisoned and Ellis agrees with that.

However, he said: "The reset him a talk bout no soun' too righteous. Mi no know if a hype him a look ... . Slavery a choice - suppen outta sync desso."

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