Akon on slavery: Black Americans are ‘not letting go of the past’

International musician, mogul and humanitarian says that African Americans blame slavery for every 'mishap' and should just come back to Africa where they are not the minority

Loading the player...

In an interview VladTV, rapper Akon said that Black Americans would benefit from “letting go” of the past trauma of slavery. 

“In Senegal, we’ve kind of overcome the thought of slavery, we don’t even think about it,” he mused. “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.”

READ MORE: T.I. demands UK firm for reparations after apologizing for role in slavery

The on-camera interview continued, “I think it’s the art of just letting the past go and moving towards the future.

“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.”

He went on to say that African Americans must “understand their worth” and accept that America atone for its racist history. 

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for UNDP )

“They’re not sorry. They don’t care. It’s obvious,” he said.

The artist and entrepreneur went on to suggest that African Americans could move to Africa. “Do you want to stay here and continue to be treated this way? Or just go back home, where you’re not no longer the minority.” 

“They just need to go,” he said. 

READ MORE: Sen. Tom Cotton says slavery was ‘necessary evil’

While he has almost nearly stopped releasing new music, Akon has a wide range of business ventures including a Pepsi soccer campaign, and Konvict Music which in partnership with Interscope Records is also home to Lady Gaga

In 2014, he launched a project called Akon Lighting Africa which brought electricity to 15 countries in Africa. 

This year, he announced that he is building a city in Senegal called Akon City which will operate on cryptocurrency called “Akoins” and will provide new energy to fuel the city.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

Loading the player...