Sunday, February 03, 2008

 

Black American Anti-Zionism: From Boggs to Badu

Erykah Badu got the attention of the Associated Press last week when she reportedly "said she identifies with Palestinian hip-hop and expressed support for Louis Farrakhan before a crowd of Israeli fans and journalists Thursday." The short piece goes on to say:
The singer, who couldn't name any Israeli hip-hop artists, said she identified best with the Palestinians and their hip-hop scene, saying they are part of her "tribe" of hip-hop.

"They use (hip-hop) as a form of liberation, as a form of pre-resistance, as a form of therapy," she said.

Ha'aretz and the Jerusalem Post both republished the AP story and their readers left lots of interesting comments here and here. One hopes that Badu got the permission of Palestinians to perform in Israel as the Jewish apartheid state is currently under a cultural and economic boycott.

In any case, the AP report reminded me of the November 1, 1970, "Appeal by Black Americans Against United States Support of the Zionist Government of Israel", published in the New York Times (p. 172) by the Committee of Black Americans for Truth About the Middle East. The statement was signed by a number of Detroit activists, including Grace and James Boggs and the Reverend Albert B. Cleage Jr., founder of the Shrine of the Black Madonna. Among other things, the appeal expressed "complete solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters", denounced "King Hussein's slaughter of Palestinian refugees and freedom-fighters", noted the alliance of apartheid South Africa and Israel, and quoted Yassir Arafat as follows: "Our political vision for a free Palestine is a democratic, secular, non-racial state where all Palestinians--Christians, Jews, and Muslims--will have equal rights."


Props to no snow here for alerting me to the Erykah Badu story, via criticalbloggers.org, and to Stop Raping Palestine for clueing me into the "Appeal by Black Americans ..."
I liked Badu's 1997 Baduizm but haven't really followed her music since then but I really like the video for "Honey" from the New Amerikah album. The two vids below are both from the Palestinian hip hop group, DAM.




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