Culture

About Blackness, Africanness and When It’s Enough

What is Blackness?

Is it based on where you’re from? Is it based on your skin tone? Is it based on your heritage? Is it a lived experience? What is BLACKNESS?

As someone whose Blackness was questioned loudly because of a question asked about a Black American musician, I must ask. It brought to the surface whether I was qualified to speak on Black American culture, and it also had some folks wondering if my Blackness was enough. Chisos! In the words of R&B songstress Deborah Cox, “How did you get here? Nobody’s supposed to be here.”

I am Nigerian-born and American-bred, having been here since I was 9 years old. I am now 33. At 9, I knew nothing. I didn’t even know to define myself as Black because I was from a country where Black is the default so there’s no need to define it. It’s like going to a Catholic church; no one needs to say they’re Catholic. So coming to the U.S. was my first time having to deal with race. I had never heard about the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, because at school in Nigeria, we were learning about the Biafran War and how the country got colonized by the British and just got its independence in 1960.

Me at 9. The first class picture I took when I got to US. Why did I have on 2 shades of purple? I have questions, Mom.

Moving to Chicago, a place I had visited once when I was too little to remember much, was jarring, because it was also my introduction to racial politics. Even so, the subject of slavery was barely taught in the elementary and high schools I went to. You know, we talked about Harriet Tubman, who is the Matron Saint of Freedom, but also a crutch for folks to gloss over the depth of the horrors she was fighting against. Of course, every Black History Month, we had to recite Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Had a Dream” speech.

It wasn’t til I got to college at the University of Illinois that I really got to explore and deeply research slavery and its impact on this country. My major was Psychology but I ended up having a Sociology minor cuz I elected to take so many classes around race and ethnicity in the United States. I wanted to know so much more. College was where I took a Black Women in the US class, and on the first day, the professor (who is also now my mentor) kicked it off by saying “I know you’re wondering why this Latina woman is teaching this class. I’m Black. I’m just light with freckles. And also, we’re having a test on Valentine’s Day, because I’m single.” Gosh I loved that class so much (shoutout to Dr. Millward). College was where I first read Assata Shakur’s biography and it left an indelible mark on me. College was where I got trained to be a Counseling Center Paraprofessional, and had to spend the first semester of the program exploring all parts of my identity and identifying my privilege. Before we could be peer counselors, we needed to be clear on who we were and the space we take up on the world.

check your privilege

College is also where I reclaimed my pride as a Nigerian. Being an immigrant in the United States as a young girl is difficult. Coming here with a strong accent, strange name and shock of being the new girl for the first time, I was extra OTHER. I, like many others, heard the “African Booty Scratcher” insults. When you’re young, being different is not a badge of honor you celebrate. I lost most of my accent by the time I started college by mimicking the way my classmates spoke, and I tucked away my first name to protect it from those who made it ugly. When I got to undergrad and saw West Africans being unapologetically themselves, it inspired me to do the same. I ended up as Vice President of the African Cultural Association.

College expanded my world, solidified my politics, and deepened my love of Black people and Blackness, in all its variety and layers.

I am Black. I am Nigerian. I am Yoruba. I am Chicagoan. I am Nigerian American. I am Black American.

So… when is our Blackness enough?

Is my Blackness exempt because I wasn’t born in the United States? Does that exclude me from being able to say I am Black American when my formative years have been in this country? Because if that is the case, then it is saying that I have to opt out of an entire culture that I have been a part of for most of my life. It is saying that I am not truly home even though I hold the passport. It says that even though it is something I am proud of, I cannot claim it simply because when I came into this world, my ancestors were not enslaved.

The double consciousness that WEB DuBois spoke of also speaks to a lot of us who are first generation Africans or Caribbean folks and just immigrants, in general. We have one foot on each place and we are told we aren’t enough of either thing we claim. Some of us aren’t African enough, but then we’re told we’re also not American enough because we happened to not be born here. Why is that?

So we are only supposed to opt in to certain parts of it, but not all? At the other end of a police officer’s gun, my Africanness does me no good. I am Black to the white. When Amadou Diallo was shot and killed by New York City cops, his native tongue, motherland or heritage did nothing to save him. Sure, we can talk about the privilege of having the anchor of a place where you know you are from, but that privilege does not protect us from the racist structure that wants us all to fail strictly because of our diasporic relation, and our skin.

BlackLivesMatter

We can talk about how police brutalize Black people, but we cannot have voice to talk about Black American music because that isn’t OUR culture? I think it is absurd. We can speak up loudly about how Black people are discriminated against but we should shut up about Black celebrities since we have no claim to them? That they are somehow in a glass case we have no access to. Oh ok.

I listen to 90s R&B and Hip Hop as much as I listen to Afrobeats. But me not liking mumble rap is not a commentary on the state of Black America. It is audacious to think that the moment we express opinions that aren’t favorable, it is because we are anti-Black American. It’s like me telling someone who says they don’t like Fela Kuti’s music that they hate Africans. We have to elevate our conversations beyond using the countries of our births as the basis for the opinions we form on each other.

More importantly, my pride in my Nigerianness does not insult my Black Americanness. I can say “Naija no dey carry last” as I raise my green white green flag. I also proudly yell Back Lives Matter as I wave my red black green one. Jollof is delicious but jambalaya is sweet too.

When told to “Go back to Africa,” it is another reminder that you can be othered and call somewhere home but still be told you don’t belong in it, by people who look like you. Where is home then?

home wifi

And for me, that is in Chicago, IL USA

Who is the authority on Blackness and Black culture?

Black American culture is so deep and has such breadth and impact that its markers are often part of the global conversation. I was watching A Diff’rent World from my living room in Nigeria because we had a satellite dish. When I was 7, me and my cousins put on a talent show that we charged our parents to come watch in the living room, where we wore our clothes backwards since we loved Kris Kross. Black culture is global, because I identified with those things not because they are American but because they were Black. I will not opt out of it. I cannot opt out.  I’m staying, like Effie White. I do not call myself an expert. I am a forever student.

Some people believe that those of us who aren’t borne from a legacy of slavery have no place in the conversation because we aren’t directly tied to that particular type of struggle. So is Blackness earned through some sort of pain? Do I need to suffer in a specific way before laying claim to it?

If you were always middle class or upper, are you less Black?

If you are light-skinned and haven’t had issues related to dark-skinned discrimination, are you less Black?

If you’re an Afro-Latina, who was born in Puerto Rico, are you less Black?

If you do not have ancestors who were ever enslaved, are you less Black?

We often say that Black is not a monolith but then we question Blackness that doesn’t look like ours. We wonder if the person who grew up differently than us really loves Black people. Everyone isn’t Omarosa or Stacey Dash just because they have been privileged.

If we are couching our Blackness in the struggle, then what are we working for? If the purpose of our rocky roads isn’t to smooth out the path of those who come after us, what is the wn? WHEN ARE WE ENOUGH? When can we rest in our Blackness without having to justify or defend it to people who want to act like we’re in some competition for the authentic Black experience? Is our Blackness ever enough?

So how do we heal?

Four years ago, I talked about how fortunate I feel that I got to the United States when I did, at such a young age. Read: my post titled About the Relationship Between Africans and African Americans. I was able to be in spaces that allowed me to explore what Blackness meant, and it was a growing point. I was also able to see how Africans who are older get to be fed bullshit about African Americans. I talked about the word “Akata” and why I don’t use it, because it has derogatory origins. It is a word that means “wild animal” but many people who use it don’t realize it, participating in dehumanizing skinfolk without realizing it. The need for us to heal is real.

There is advantage in youth because a lot of folks in the older generation of Africans never had a chance to unlearn whatever stereotypes they might have heard about African Americans. Maybe we need to help our parents by sending them WhatsApp threads, because you know that is where all the African aunts and uncles park themselves day in day out. If I get one more mass prayer that has floral background from them, I might need to block them. Anyway, what I see as the job of those who are the bridge, because we are living in both worlds, is to educate and have the conversation around our tensions. We need to get to a place of true growth.

So Wakanda… Whenever?

Black Panther came out and we were all inspired and coming together. We were carrying Wakanda passports but it’s clear that we haven’t really absorbed some of what I consider its best lessons.

Wakanda Forever

We need to heal. Wakanda, unlike most of Africa, escaped colonization, which is why it’s the utopia we all want to live in. But most of Africa, unlike Wakanda, has been pilfered of its natural resources by the colonizers, and doesn’t have the capacity to help. So when Africans come to the United States and excel, we gotta know it’s not just from our own doing. We didn’t pull ourselves up by bootstraps. Who do we think made those boots? The African Americans who have been here for 400 years, beaten, chained up and denigrated. Their legacy allows us to then cross the ocean, on our own volition, and do well. We are standing on their shoulders and we must not forget that.

Similarly, Africans cannot feel like we are always one step away from being told that we need to “go back to Africa,” especially not from our own. We already get that language from white people. We can all wear ankara or kente for a film premiere but we cannot return to fighting each other based on where we are from right after.

We can talk about Wakanda Forever every day but it doesn’t ring true if we continue to other each other. I keep thinking about what T’Challa said when he went to the United Nations. “Fools build barriers, the wise build bridges.” I don’t care where you’re born. This melanin means we’re kinfolk, even if it’s far down the line. But we’ve let the world tell us who we are. We’ve called each other names. We’ve let the world tell us that we’re on different teams. And we’ve let each other down by not fighting for each other.

For the conversation to be productive and for healing to happen, both sides have to be willing to get uncomfortable, own our roles, apologize for them and make amends to each other. We need to learn each others’ histories, because life ain’t been no crystal stair for either side. The legacy of colonization still ravages the homes of those of whose ancestors were not chained into ships. We’re victims of white supremacy, and that is what we need to defeat. We need to love up on each other and make white folks uncomfortable because they know how unstoppable we will be when we know we go together. Questioning each others’ rights to Blackness is hustling backwards. We gotta do better.

Like hip hop icon, and Blue Ivy’s Daddy, Jay-Z said: “Nobody wins when the family feuds.”


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174 Comments

  1. Kay Fal
    August 21, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Whooooo….. I need a moment. The is the WORD!!! I pray we all learn to accept each other

    • Renaldo Stultz
      August 26, 2018 at 5:54 am

      What are you Whooooo?
      She didnt say anything monumental.

    • Big
      August 27, 2018 at 9:49 pm

      I wonder if lovvies yuroba ancester were slave traders. They say 90% of africans sold into slavery were sold by other africans. And the yuroba tribe were big slave traders. And since luvvie is from that tribe….

      • September 8, 2018 at 2:16 pm

        Before we begin to make statements like this I think it is important to do a lot of research. Yes, some slaves were sold by indigenous slave traders. I have not heard of 90% of the slave traders being Yoruba. I have heard that this was not enough and so majority of the slaves were kidnapped and stolen and not bought from the locals.

        There was an article in the NYTimes recently by a young Igbo girl who discovered her great grand father was an Igbo trader (or maybe it was the Atlantic. Don’t remember).

        Also, there is this article http://thenewsnigeria.com.ng/2016/06/ajayi-crowthers-179-year-old-letter-my-capture-into-slavery-and-rescue/#.V3JKy-FYalF.mailto that speaks to Northern Nigerian Muslim traders.

        There is a lot to learn. There is also The Book of Negroes (TV series) that speaks to some of this. Even if Luvvie is from a slave trading tribe, what is she supposed to say?

        Here she is wrestling with her multicultural identity in a way that helps us see into her – a very vulnerable thing and we do not recognize that is sacred work. I respect her piece.

  2. Erika
    August 21, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Yes. As always, well said.

    • Renaldo Stultz
      August 26, 2018 at 5:55 am

      How was it well-said just rambled? Theres really no clear train of thought throughout this rant.

      • STFU
        August 27, 2018 at 4:31 pm

        Renaldo, nobody asked your STANK ASS for your negativity. Have a fucking seat.

        • Renaldo Stultz
          September 3, 2018 at 9:09 pm

          Asking if someone read the same article is Stank Ass Negativity? Okay.
          What, did you get “Standk Ass” out of your Nigglish Dictionary?

        • Von
          September 5, 2018 at 12:18 pm

          I guess the “Nigglish Dictionary” is something you’d write, if you knew how to (or spell, for that matter–because it’s STANK, not “standk”, lol). Seems you WOULD know plenty about ignorant “nigglish” (not a word, BTW) matters–since that appears to be what you’re all about. Troll on, troll.

  3. Rita
    August 21, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    You didn’t have a question about Tevin you clearly shaded him BUT that is absolutely no reason to “cancel” you or question your “blackness”. You gotta own the shade though. 😉

    • A. Richardson
      August 22, 2018 at 8:28 am

      So Tevin Cambell is beyond shade?

      • Ms. Lorna
        August 22, 2018 at 11:13 am

        Ain’t nobody no he was alive before this! I’m sure there is an article on Snopes.com somewhere reminding folks that he isn’t dead. Folks must stop pretending to care.

        AND…while we’re at it, since when does Luvvie NOT do shade? She is the QUEEN of Shade!!! That is part of why we love and support her so much. So a Shade Queen threw Shade at a dude no one knew was alive and now people know he IS alive SOLELY because Luvvie threw shade. sigh.

        • Renaldo Stultz
          August 26, 2018 at 6:08 am

          Luvvie is known as shade. Okay, I can dig it.
          But, do you or Luvvie know the history of this word “shade”? Im not going to get to deep on this word. Its not that serious.
          But, you know what? Like anyone else in America, weve all heard the reports on killings a black American community, reports that simply state the killing and injuries. They never give the reasons or backstory. And one of those reasons is usually someone throwing shade. So, yes, you can throw shade all say, but you have to accept the consequences of throwing your shade.
          And, no, Im not saying Luvvie should be harmed in any way, but you have to accept the reaction to any of your actions.

        • KBS
          August 27, 2018 at 1:29 pm

          She is not just the queen of shade. She is the queen of racism. Look at her post on twitter: https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593 This is not just shade. She is literally insulting the hell out of black american people and culture while at the same time eating off of black american people and culture. Why would you support this?

        • Me Brown!
          August 30, 2018 at 9:24 am

          That part. Somehow she failed to think about or address her perpetual disparaging commentary about Black Americans, Black colleges etc. she has yet to own any of it which to me, makes her disingenuous. She clearly considers herself above us.

      • Renaldo Stultz
        August 26, 2018 at 6:04 am

        Its not about Tevin being beyond shade.
        Do you or Luvvie know many industry insiders have long alleged that Tevin was a victim of childhood sexual abuse like any other child celebrity of this day? Do you or Luvvie know this experience and the subsequent hushing up of the experience could be an outgrowth of black Americas years in slavery?
        Do you or Luvvie know that the last time anyone really reported on Tevin was when someone spotted him wondering on Hollywood Blvd in an alleged disheveled state? So, you know what? You can say Luvvie making fun of Tevin would be similar to her making fun of Maia Campbell going off in an inebriated state at some random gas station. Do you get it?

    • Renaldo Stultz
      August 26, 2018 at 6:10 am

      Sorry, black isnt always just black.

  4. Dookie
    August 21, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    The impulse for some to feel some kind of way and pick, when one gains recognition and elevation, while they don’t is just that crabs in a barrel mentality.

    I’m saying it’s just plain jealousy and backstabbing that would happen regardless, because of your success. Haters are very “black”.

    No matter what you say in this piece, the usual suspects will find something wrong with it. So, I advise… Keep rising and keep thriving, regardless.

  5. Dianna Okoko-Udugba
    August 21, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Luvvie, you eloquentlt put into words what my heart and mind have been screaming for years! As a Nigerian-Jamaican born in Canada who has lived and worked in the US and Canada, it’s a constant battle to be accepted for just being me. We are all black firsr, regardless of our parents’ ethnicity or what country we were born in. The quicker we come together, the stronger as a group/family we will all be.

  6. Rae
    August 21, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    So . . . lemme get this straight. You passively shaded an R&B legend and got dragged for it on Twitter. Then, one commenter suggested you should’ve just eaten your jollof – she claimed, a play on your podcast title and a nod to your oft mentioned love of rice. You somehow translated that into an attack on your cultural identity. I just think it’s funny how online influencers benefit from directing the message of intended influence, yet refuse to accept the consequences when their messages are not received, as intended, by the same following that feeds them. It’s all good when the following is laughing at those dry ass jokes disparaging this person or the next (Black, White or otherwise). Yet, the moment Black Twitter calls you on your shit, then “we” need to come together and have a kumbaya moment? Hell, you might’ve helped Black unity. Your Twitter drag was more unified that a swag surf at Howard. Also, 43 paragraphs later, you STILL didn’t apologize for slick dissing Tevin, which was THE cause of the entire debacle. Wack.

    • Nope.
      August 22, 2018 at 4:24 am

      She’s not writing about Karnythia’s tweet. If you do a quick search, you would see that MANY African Americans on Twitter made it about her country of origin, and it was almost a diaspora war. Clearly, Luvvie’s opinion about Tevin was unpopular but she should not have to apologise for it. Likewise, she could have been dragged about it without people implying that she couldn’t appreciate him just because, Nigerian.

    • August 22, 2018 at 4:58 am

      First of all she was not talking about one moment, she was talking about her experiences since she was younger. Did you even read the whole thing? This goes back to the point when will African Americans be accepting of people of their own race regardless of American or not american the person is. Maybe it’s not as bad as another race discriminating against black people but when will African Americans also realize they do the same to other people. Either black people the same skin tone or lighter skin or the many Mexican jokes y’all make and so on. The whole point she was making was “No one is saying African can entirely get what it means to be African American, however can we not be against each other and work in one accord”.

      • E
        August 22, 2018 at 1:25 pm

        This assumes that it is a one-way issue and it’s not. Africans are often unaccepting of Black Americans as well. The discrimination goes both ways.

    • Val
      August 22, 2018 at 7:31 am

      Yep.

    • Al
      August 22, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Can I love this more. Descendants of Slaves in this country have been co-opted by the likes of Luvvie. And if a Chinese or Latin lived among the AKATA (as she were taught to call Black Americans) and felt Black and perpetrated the “vernacular” it would be different. She is mean spirited and used Black culture for a come up. She posts her West African culture all over the place but insult OUR tribe the Black American tribe. And this pedestrian writing is just beyond boring. I was never a follower and never will be. Yvette Carnell @BreakingBrown on Youtube has some in depth DATA about people like her and how they continue to benefit from the marches, sit-ins and murders of Black American who fought for Civil Rights in this country. Africans came over after the work was done and benefited from Affirmative Action which LBJ said was and should be for THE DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES in this country, not Immigrants. Our for fathers fought for the right of their descendants not West African who probably sold my people into slavery. The Yoruba people are known for selling the MOST Africans into the slave trade. Nigerians still have slaves (unpaid servants) in their homes today. So she can miss me with that I’m Black American BS.

      • Remi
        August 22, 2018 at 11:55 am

        Urghh!!!! Such bile!

        • Renaldo Stultz
          August 26, 2018 at 6:13 am

          You call it bile because you know shes right.
          Simpleton.

      • Fit
        August 22, 2018 at 5:49 pm

        I hope all that bile and hatred doesn’t choke you one day.

        • Renaldo Stultz
          August 26, 2018 at 6:14 am

          Simpletons usually dismiss the truth.

        • Fk off
          August 27, 2018 at 9:02 am

          Who made you the judge of what is truth?You sound like a simpleton.

      • Cyn
        August 25, 2018 at 12:46 am

        Miss me too.. I noticed her several months ago.. hatred then love then hatred for BA. Well said Al.

      • Ade
        August 25, 2018 at 3:53 pm

        Honestly there is so much pain that needs to be addressed b/w African Americans. This man is stating that he has never been a fan of Luvvie so it looks like he is on here to perpetuate the decisiveness between blacks and African Americans. Okay Luvvie shaded a beloved African american Icon. We get it. But when will the bashing stop? I am Nigerian american and have no idea who Tevin Cambell is or what song he sings. Most likely because my parents were not playing his music in the household and outside of the house we were listening to Britney and the Backstreet boys. Infact I hated rap(but that is an aside). Are we really going to questions someones blackness because of they were less aware of the AA icon? Like really? I think that people that want to be divisive will always be divisive. If you want to continue to do that and keep spreading that energy, see how far it gets you. Nigerians, like most other immigrants worked very hard to get here and don’t want to waste the opportunity that was given to us. I was born, here so yes I have an appreciation for the civil right movement and know that I would be no where without the courageous individuals that helped make america better for everyone. We do not “use” the work of African Americans that came before us. We we use out talents to continue to uplift black Americans specifically. To give a real life example, my partner is an Nigerian HBCU Grad, has that has hired many of his classmates for high paying jobs that otherwise would have been jobless post graduation. He took a chance on may of them.I myself am a medical student and actively work with my school in recruiting more African Americans in to medicine. I could not just let you come up in here spreading unhelpful information. It sounds like you have been hurt, but please don’s spread that negative energy to others.

        • Renaldo Stultz
          August 26, 2018 at 6:19 am

          You know we dont believe you, right?

    • Ms. Lorna
      August 22, 2018 at 11:19 am

      Hold up. I have to ask. On WHAT Planet, exactly, is Tevin Campbell considered an “R&B Legend”??!!

      Gladys Knight.
      Aretha Franklin
      Patti LaBelle
      Luther Vandross
      Chaka Khan
      The OJAYS
      Boys II Men
      New Edition
      The Commodores

      Many others are R&B Legends.
      One could objectively include Jodeci, SWV and Troop on that list.

      But Tevin Campbell?!!
      Seriously!?
      GTFOH
      You knew that was wrong before you typed it.
      But to each his own.
      I’m sure you have your Tevin Campbell and Maury Bellweather posters still on your bedroom wall, so whatever.

      • ImAHerveyKid
        August 22, 2018 at 11:44 am

        THANK YOU! He had a couple good albums in the 90s and 2000s that does not equate to Icon or legend status. Folks is being Stretch Armstrong out in these streets.

      • Rae
        August 22, 2018 at 12:12 pm

        That’d be planet EARTH.

        leg·end
        ˈlejənd/Submit
        noun

        2.
        an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field.
        “the man was a living legend”
        synonyms: celebrity, star, superstar, icon, phenomenon, luminary, leading light, giant; More
        adjective
        1.
        very well known.
        “his speed and ferocity in attack were legend”

        Also, TC still has a large fan following, still performs live shows, and never stopped writing and producing. Just because someone is little known to YOU (and others), doesn’t negate their relevance. Also, I love it when bullies get defensive. This article has “I can dish it, but I can’t take it” written between every line.

        • notconvincedgranny
          August 22, 2018 at 2:14 pm

          The definition instantly precludes TC’s membership. Being known and busy doesn’t make you legendary. Feel free to keep him a legend in your own mind.

          No one is being bullied, and because this is Luvvie’s spot, she reserves the right to speak her truth without filter or favor. Anyone triggered by that should pull it and shoot their way outta here.

      • Renaldo Stultz
        August 26, 2018 at 6:20 am

        Its not about Tevin being beyond shade.
        Do you or Luvvie know many industry insiders have long alleged that Tevin was a victim of childhood sexual abuse like any other child celebrity of this day? Do you or Luvvie know this experience and the subsequent hushing up of the experience could be an outgrowth of black Americas years in slavery?
        Do you or Luvvie know that the last time anyone really reported on Tevin was when someone spotted him wondering on Hollywood Blvd in an alleged disheveled state? So, you know what? You can say Luvvie making fun of Tevin would be similar to her making fun of Maia Campbell going off in an inebriated state at some random gas station. Do you get it?

    • Jane
      August 22, 2018 at 11:56 am

      Let the church say AMEN! She never questioned her cultural identity. She just threw her podcast name and what she loves to say back at her. Stop it and own up to your ignorance.

    • Disgusted
      August 22, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      Yes. All of this!
      There is no “feud.” She overstepped and thought it was funny to mock a great talent who was selected to pay tribute to an even greater talent whom he adored, AT HER MEMORIAL SERVICE. Instead of just apologizing, she had to play the victim. Like, it had nothing to do with her “Blackness,” and everything to do with her self-centeredness. Perfectly illustrated by this attempt to slander her critics, disguised as a “call for unity.”
      Please. We see you.

      • Tameka
        August 25, 2018 at 6:51 pm

        Yes, thank you for cutting through the BS

    • Taylor
      August 22, 2018 at 6:11 pm

      All. Of. This.

  7. Nik
    August 21, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    I’m still dumbfounded that think pieces have to be written because you asked “under what rock did Y’all find Tevin Campbell’s name.” How is that shading or insulting or how does it lead to the conclusion that you don’t understand black American culture? Y’all do entirely too much for nothing.

    • BeBest
      August 21, 2018 at 9:28 pm

      Well, there’s no literal rock. When someone refers to something as “under a rock” it denotes something hidden, obscure, or outside of relevant mention. She knew the exact context of her words when she chose them, so why pretend they don’t have meaning? I find it hard to believe that you’re truly “dumbfounded” by this common idiom. So . . . connecting the dots – her comment was insulting/shading because she insinuated that Tevin Campbell is irrelevant or insignificant – even though he has a large fan following, still performs live shows, and never stopped writing and producing. No, her words did not say exactly that, but we are all smart enough to pick up on context clues. Also, she never denied it, or apologized! lol Instead, she went on the defensive claiming a “cultural attack” because Black people told her to stay in her lane on this . . . which CLEARLY is on an entirely different freeway if she had the moxie to question Tevin’s relevance for an Aretha tribute.

      • August 22, 2018 at 5:02 am

        How about y’all just the words she actually said and focus on that and not what you think she was actually trying to say or not say. Smdh. Always having your guard up will only hurt your feelings and confuse you!

      • A. Richardson
        August 22, 2018 at 8:34 am

        Wow it took “shading Tevin Cambell” for me to even know he still had a career in music. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Also apologize for what exactly?

        • Ms. Lorna
          August 22, 2018 at 11:23 am

          Exactly, A. Richardson!!!
          I thought brothah was DEAD until this popped up.
          And Luvvie owes no apologies.

        • Nikki
          August 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm

          You are not alone in this. I know that Tevin exists but he is not relevant in today’s music scene. People are really sensitive.

    • Renaldo Stultz
      August 26, 2018 at 6:23 am

      Its not about Tevin being beyond shade.
      Do you or Luvvie know many industry insiders have long alleged that Tevin was a victim of childhood sexual abuse like any other child celebrity of his day? Do you or Luvvie know this experience and the subsequent hushing up of the experience could be an outgrowth of black Americas years in slavery?
      Do you or Luvvie know that the last time anyone really reported on Tevin was when someone spotted him wondering on Hollywood Blvd in an alleged disheveled state? So, you know what? You can say Luvvie making fun of Tevin would be similar to her making fun of Maia Campbell going off in an inebriated state at some random gas station. Do you get it?

  8. Jackie
    August 21, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    In my opinion, this is why people get offended when you say the things you say.

    1. They don’t believe you to be a proper ally not because you claim your Nigerian heritage but you do not defend or even acknowledge our DOS heritage. You have said several things that make us know this. You said on Twitter in so any words that you never knew about slavery and you though everyone had a driver and house help. In the same breath you said you learned all about it in college. If you learned all about them you have reason to say you don’t know about slavery nor do you under it. You can’t have it both ways.

    2. Someone once used the akata word the problem was not that you defended you Nigerian heritage but you did not defend the DOS persons and talk that word down. Its like a white person saying the word nigger and then you say, “Well I’m half black so I’m going to claim my white side on this one.” Any good ally would have taken that person to task for the use of that word.
    3. They are also concerned with how proud the Nigerians are in their heritage but it’s a very romanticized version of your heritage because no one has talk about your country’s complicity in the slave trade. Nor has none talked about why your country has taken advantage of the US immagration system and the reality of the country you left behind. Nor do you acknowledge the fact that you benefit from the opportunities our ancestors have fought for and paved your way to.

    So whatever you say going forth people are actually judging you and don’t believe you to be ally enough to take swipes at one of our own.

    This is not about you commenting on Tevin Campbell at the end of the day, it’s really just about the fact that they want you to learn to be a better ally.

    We want you to acknowledge that we are our own tribe and it’s one to be respected.

    • Al
      August 22, 2018 at 10:10 am

      Thank you Jackie.

    • Hakeem Adewumi
      August 22, 2018 at 11:17 am

      “We want you to acknowledge that we are our own tribe and it’s one to be respected.” THIS >>>>>>>>>>>>

    • Allum
      August 22, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      Exactly

    • NaturallySonja
      August 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you Jackie!

    • Erykah Badu
      August 23, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      Thank you!! The issue is not that people were questioning her Blackness. Black people exist in every country throughout the world. It’s a wide umbrella. Within Blackness there are distinct cultures. A major problem is the refusal to acknowledge that descendants of enslaved Black people on America have their own unique culture. Just because she’s moved here when she was 9 and has lived amongst the culture doesn’t mean she can claim the culture. It would be like me moving to Nigeria at nine and claiming I was of the Yoruba or Igbo people, because I lived around them , was immersed in their culture, and learned more of their history when I went to college. I’d likely be dismissed quickly. I’d always be considered a Black America living in Nigeria amongst the Yorub or Igbo people. I would respect and understand that because even though we’re all Black and I’m surrounding by the culture I’m not of the culture. It’s that simple. I’m unsure why Black americans are expected to be allow anyone and everyone to claim our culture but we are not permitted to claim some other Black communities culture. At the end of the day Luvvie will always be Black. Nigerian. Yoruba. And living in america, sometimes among Black Americans. But not Black American.

      • Tameka
        August 25, 2018 at 6:54 pm

        Thank you Erykah!

    • Shar
      August 24, 2018 at 10:11 am

      All of this.

      It’s exhausting having to explain this to Luvvie every time she “messes up”.

      She knows better. So she should do better.

    • Renaldo Stultz
      August 26, 2018 at 6:26 am

      VERY WELL SAID

  9. Maame
    August 21, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    I am Ghanaian. I have a similar immigrant story as you outlined here. However, I wholeheartedly disagree with your Tevin comment. I found it quite sad that others like Bozama and the Voltron (or whatever y’all call yourselves) defended that mean spirited tweet. Y’all feigned surprised to being questioned about the angle you took to question Tevin’s whereabouts. It was wrong that you were told to go eat joloff. I get it. It reminds me of being called an African booty scratcher in elementary school. You didn’t deserve that. And we don’t deserve this lame ass post trying to conflate blackness with plain old you got your ass handed to you because you overstepped.

    • KBS
      August 27, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      Maame,

      Luvvie has been doing much more than overstepping for over 10 years now. Look at her twitter post about Black Americans: https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593 The Tevin post was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. These post are purely racist. If a white person said this stuff we would have their jobs. Click the link and scroll to the right to view all over her nasty words.

  10. August 21, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    I still can’t believe folks took a where Tevin Campbell at tweet, a question I think often when one of his songs come on & turned it into madness. Seems like some people have been waiting for something to twist & turn. Kinda sad though.

    And folks out here questioning folks blackness simply because they might disagree about something need to question their own motives.

    • blogdiz
      August 21, 2018 at 11:03 pm

      Jaye
      Nope “this was not a where Tevin at ” Tweet, it clearly and rudely implied that he was under a rock. Thats what Twitter does it calls out people , Luvvie herself has called out quite a few . apparently she can dish it out but not take it.
      If one can question Tevins Relevance to an AA icons tribute, then this can lead to questions about ones in depth knowledge /connection to AA culture NOT your blackness.Conflating the two is disingenuous

    • Nikki
      August 22, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Jaye I agree with you. It’s sad that there is a need for this post. I wonder how many of these people can name a Tevin Campbell song.

  11. Ashley Banks
    August 21, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Ok. She attacked a black artist who was shafted and forgotten by the white media, casted away due to homosexuality and ran into trouble after the end of a short career. Tevin is loved and it’s because of these reasons why he is protected by those of us who loved him. She shaded him. Trying to be funny. And got called out for it and couldn’t take the heat. Sorry but all of those paragraphs were a waste of time time. Shaded Tevin, who is closer to Whitney than any other vocalist but wanted to include Adele because she is recent? Adele, who can barely sing thanks to cigs? By shaded Tevin. Ok. Go ahead and play the victim as usual hand you get called out on the bullshit.

    • Rob Wilson
      August 22, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      see, I was sympathetic until you said “Tevin, who is closer to Whitney”, which makes me believe you’re either a troll or delusional.

      • Angel Monique
        August 25, 2018 at 11:18 am

        Except he’s right. Tevin Campbell is the male version of Whitney Houston. It’s well known. Listening to him is like hearing her in nearly every song. He was a student of her talent and was her close friend.

    • Renaldo Stultz
      August 26, 2018 at 6:31 am

      Very well said
      And I would like to add on to you saying Tevin was shafted for his alleged homosexuality.
      Does Luvvie or any of defenders know many industry insiders have long alleged that Tevin was a victim of childhood sexual abuse like any other child celebrity of this day? Does Luvvie or any of defenders know this experience and the subsequent hushing up of the experience could be an outgrowth of black Americas years in slavery?
      Does Luvvie or any of defenders know that the last time anyone really reported on Tevin was when someone spotted him wondering on Hollywood Blvd in an alleged disheveled state? So, you know what? You can say Luvvie making fun of Tevin would be similar to her making fun of Maia Campbell going off in an inebriated state at some random gas station. Do you get it?

  12. Luna
    August 21, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Stupid article. The fact of the matter is, you spoke outta turn and should have shut the fuck up. You aren’t Black American. You’re Nigerian and there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that. No one said you’re LESS Black, but you damn sure aren’t Black American DOS and need to keep those lips CLOSED about OUR experiences and history in the US. You’re disrespectful as shit. If I went to Nigerian and started claiming that I had a right to speak on Nigerian culture, y’all have my ass. Fuck outta here. This article was nothing but a bunch of nonsensical drivel and a piss poor attempt to garner sympathy that you don’t deserve. Instead of being inauthentic, be real and maybe you won’t get dragged by the 3 follicles on your head.

    • Stateless Person
      August 22, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      Every last word you said. When we freed Africans claim any title, ownership and entitlement to our history, culture and unique ‘blackness’ we are somehow denying “Blackness” to the Diaspora, or asserting copyright on the existence.

      Luvvie and her sympathizers can save their Diaspora tears. African immigrants are welcome to their ‘American experience’ but it should not be construed as the (DOS) black experience.

  13. Tols
    August 21, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    Who apologizes for throwing “shade”?
    “She said, what she she said” because that’s how she felt. And there is s difference between shady and being attacked. I felt that some of the commentd/tweets were rude and attacking her blackness.
    Being a product of a Nigerian born black man and American born black woman, people often ask how do identify. Identify Black with American and Nigerian heritage. Either way, white people don’t care. And I think that is what this wordy post was trying to convey.
    So what is there to apologize for?

    • Renaldo Stultz
      August 26, 2018 at 6:33 am

      You know we dont believe you, right?

    • KBS
      August 27, 2018 at 1:42 pm

      Tols,

      Its not about Tevin. She needs to apologize for this: https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593 click the link, scroll to the right and view all of these tweets and THEN get back to me.

  14. Nerisa Sweets
    August 21, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Own your words sis. You’re blogger… sometimes you miss and the innanets gonna let you know. Don’t be shady if you don’t want backlash. You know how this works. Don’t play victim when you opened that door. #isitbreezyinhere

  15. blogdiz
    August 21, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    I am West Indian and with all due respect you are doing way too much here.AA dont own being black but AA culture is theirs and if you are going to speak so decisively on certain things then you should know what you are talking about .
    In this instance you should have known how respected Tevin was, that he was mentored by Aretha and that Quincy and MJ said that he was as good as if not better than MJ at his age and that he was also a Protege of Prince AND Tevin is still performing.

    Your tweet wasn’t funny, you were loud and wrong, simple . Instead of taking your L and moving on, i.e “My bad didn’t mean to diss Tevin just haven’t seen him in a while whatever” (You are a witty girl figure it out )you doubled down and still dont seem to get it and are making yourself the victim with this pity piece. Seriously Stop

    • HayShay
      August 22, 2018 at 9:01 am

      THIS! All day. When the jollof wars commence, I keep my black American ass on the sidelines because that is not my lane.

      • Renaldo Stultz
        August 26, 2018 at 6:36 am

        I will stand on the sidelines after I ask for a bowl of Jolof rice. Shit, I may get a little famished after they drag our their war, per usual.

    • Al
      August 22, 2018 at 10:15 am

      Louder please!
      The victimizer now crying victim. She made her money from talking trash about any and everyone, and when those waiting to call her trash got an opportunity, they jumped.

    • Shar
      August 22, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Yup!

    • Allum
      August 22, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      Amen!

    • Rob Wilson
      August 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      “how respected tevin was?”

      literally NO ONE I hear of mentions him until they talk about Powerline. Yall act like he’s Brandy or somebody important.

  16. Breezy Yayeezy
    August 21, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Y’all do too much. I like Luuvie a lot. But I absolutely disagreed with her comment about Tevin Campbell. Bottom line: opinions are like assholes… She can have an opinion about anybody. And I can disagree without attacking her identity. This is called maturity. And what is all this authority business about? She is a brown person in the USA. Culturally that is a big ole diverse pot of gumbo. She is neither less black American nor less American because of her Nigerianness. Some of yall sound like Trump. She can talk about whatever she wants to talk about (and deal with the consequences of those who dissent). As a person with a large following who “judges and snaps” for a living she should expect “snapback” every now and then. Consider it a testament to the fact that the audience is listening.

  17. Namaste
    August 22, 2018 at 1:07 am

    Never heard of you until this debacle appeared on my timeline. Your tweet about Tevin and your history of other highly problematic tweets definitely made me curious about who you are. After some scant research, I thought, regardless of the racial/ethnic origins of this person, some of the things tweeted were insensitive, sketchy, provocative and thoughtless. And when your magnum opus about your life story appeared, the picture became even clearer. With that in mind, we don’t care how you identify. That is your business. And, no, no one is trying to claim you, either. But one thing you should know is that the inherent ignorance and ugliness of your tweets and your cultural ‘perspective’ will be etched in internet history forever.

  18. Tamekia
    August 22, 2018 at 1:14 am

    I think what Luvvie wrote in her article above was spot on. The ONLY reason this shit even popped off was because she is Nigerian. If Joe Smo black woman like me from the DMV said the same exact thing with the same exact following that she’s established, it would not have blown up into what it did. And this is why we as a people CAN NOT win. We do the work of white supremacist, divide us so they can continue to conquer us.

    • Lilypad
      August 22, 2018 at 3:26 am

      I agree. But she has a lot of followers and reach so that is also why it blew up. Additionally the way people came at her was definitely problematic but when people are coming for you almost anything goes on Twitter right? She is lucky she wasn’t called ugly or fat or whatever else people say to hurt others.

      I am Jamaican and just made a pot of collard greens and was talking to my friend and said damn I never had collards before 35. Can’t believe I missed out on so much. African Americans have a different culture/ethnicity than Jamaicans even Jamaicans living in the US. And you know there are loads of overlaps cause we live together, marry each other and exist under the same craziness. And yeah share the same ancestors enslaved or free. Nobody was attacking her blackness, her Americanness maybe but she missed that part. And how can she take issue with that shade about jollof? Africans and West Indians stay insulting and othering each other based on country or place of birth. My mom still can’t believe my best friend is Haitian!

      So yeah… this wasn’t about her blackness. It was about her Americanness, twitter culture and her Tevin shade.

      • Liz
        August 22, 2018 at 6:13 pm

        Thank you, Lilypad. I was reading this entire article thinking “Blackness? She thinks her BLACKNESS is being called into question??? Wha-huh???”

        Tevin Campbell has not a damn thing to do with how Black anybody is, lmao. I’m 35 too but I feel like I aged ten years reading this article the way I was squinting at the words. Anyway, how’d your greens turn out?

      • Renaldo Stultz
        August 26, 2018 at 6:48 am

        Very well said.
        People like Luvvie missed the infighting among West Indians. There was a time when Trinidadians hated Jamaicans and vice versa.
        And then, unsurprisingly, there was infighting among West Indians and black Americans. And this conflict is still in the middle of a healing process.

    • Renaldo Stultz
      August 26, 2018 at 6:39 am

      Youre from the DMV?
      Youve been compromised by the high concentration of African immigrants in the DMV area to have a valid opinion.
      And save all that Pan-Africanist gibberish for someone else.

    • KBS
      August 27, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      Its not because she is Nigerian. Its because she is Nigerian AND she is making her money by critiquing Black American culture AND she has a history of making racist statements about the very Black American people and culture that she is eating off of: https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593 click the link and scroll to the right to view her statement about HBCUs, slavery, ghetto names, kwanza, etc. All of our skinfol AINT our kinfolk. Shonda Rhimes is about to give her a book deal. Why promote this woman when she hates us so much?

  19. Kikigeee
    August 22, 2018 at 3:14 am

    I enjoyed Tevin like any good black person of taste in the 80’s and 90’s but all this sounds like is folks who were already not fans of Luvvie being overly excited to pounce and try to “cancel” someone. My first-hand experiences with Luvvie have been that she shows up (at times without even an ask of pay) for the community. And I’ve seen her publicly stand down in the past when her ish has been flagrantly foul. No one is perfect all the time. But this Tevin tweet ain’t even a blip to me. Could have been a light-hearted back and forth disagreement but I guess people were bored and needed some ‘life spice.’

    The silver lining is that it appears Tevin is getting a good spike of attention from the drama so that’s nice. Anyway…moving on.

    • Chi_Girl
      August 22, 2018 at 8:54 am

      Exactly! People used that tweet as an excuse to drag someone they don’t like. None of the people dragging her was thinking about how important Tevin Campbell is to Black culture before they saw her tweet.

      • August 26, 2018 at 8:53 pm

        I agree. I had to go back to see if there were multiple tweets because the one I saw really just seemed like she was saying his name hadn’t been on the radar in a while. I’m still scratching my head about all the other “stuff” that has been pulled into this conversation. But, it is good to know Tevin seems to be doing ok.

    • KBS
      August 27, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      It aint about the Tevin tweet. Its about this. Read all of these tweets and then let me know your thoughts. The Tevin tweet was just the straw that broke the camel’s back: https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593

  20. AnMarie Freeman
    August 22, 2018 at 5:20 am

    Her name: Luvvie The Writer of Truth
    Her Platform: To expose the Truth and to educate the masses

  21. August 22, 2018 at 6:19 am

    Thanks, Luvvie. This is such an important piece. I’m Haitian-American and I wrote and teach a high school course in the Literature of the African Diaspora. It was supposed to be an African American Literature class but I only agreed to write it if I could broaden the focus. Teaching this course has been one of the richest experiences in my career. It’s given my (mostly black) 11th and 12th graders, among other things, the opportunity to tackle the major takeaways you address above, and this has been—for both students and teacher—an education in itself. The introductory unit, “Africa Unite” (the seven units are named after Bob Marley songs😊) focuses on the question/definition of black identity, and what it means to be a part of this diaspora or “spreading” of African people, whether forced or voluntary, throughout the world. This year, I will proudly include this post as one of our first readings.

  22. C. H.
    August 22, 2018 at 7:54 am

    It seemed to me like this “blowup” occurred because some people were just waiting for an opportunity. When you asked about the rock, it was a reference to the fact that Tevin Campbell, though loved and listened to often, hasn’t been part of musical dialogue in general for years. Not en masse. So yes, you can love him, love his music, love his voice, appreciate his talent and still note that his name hasn’t been brought up in a while. It may be shade, but it is definitely not an attack.

    The response was way over the top. Some people had screenshots ready of every problematic thing that Luvvie has ever said to show why they don’t think that she should have any right to speak on Black American culture. What? A shady comment suddenly makes her unqualified? How did they make that leap? There was a shady response and reference to her podcast (fair), but there were tons of other people that were outright saying that she didn’t know enough about Black culture to say anything. Really? They were waiting for that and I hope they felt that release because it was building up for a while.

  23. Life
    August 22, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Just as someone may travel to Nigeria and cannot become Yoruba, is how the Black Americans are saying that you cannot become Black American. They are saying they are a distinct ethnicity regardless of the affinity you feel you have with them. That’s the point you may be missing.

    • Black Man
      August 23, 2018 at 11:49 am

      Black America is made up of other Black people from the diaspora coming to the U.S. and contributing to what is Black America. Broadening your scope. There has been a back and forth since slavery times when Africans in the Caribbean were transfered to the U.S. and vise versa.

      • Renaldo Stultz
        August 26, 2018 at 6:54 am

        No, black America is the amalgamation of blacks across the diaspora, whove all been absorbed by this one community under one accord.
        Its not a bunch of random black people from all over the world, coming to America and just saying whatever they like whenever they like.
        Do you get the difference?

  24. A. Richardson
    August 22, 2018 at 8:54 am

    I was born and raised here in the US I’m in my 40’s. I’m just sick and tired of people always being so offened by everything. I could care less how Luvie worded her where is Tevin question? I mean for black folks to be so up in arms about this is freaking pathetic. There have been many occasions where an influencer or celebrity has said things I didn’t agree with but unless it was something extreme like Kanye and his rhetoric I keeps it moving. Something is wrong when people are quick to cancel a person or question their integrity/intentions simply because they don’t share the same opinion as you. If it wasn’t for her unpopular question or shade as some put it I would not have known where Tevin was and I still don’t care.

    • Nikki
      August 22, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      A. Richardson I agree with you. It’s not that deep of an issue.

    • Renaldo Stultz
      August 26, 2018 at 6:55 am

      You know you sound like white folk, right?

      • Vee
        September 5, 2018 at 12:29 pm

        You know you sound like Tevin Campbell, right?

  25. MissMelony
    August 22, 2018 at 10:12 am

    You are not Black American though. You are African American. Just like I am. I’m first generation Nigerian and Jamaican and even though I be was born here there is a a difference between me and my friend with generation history in the states. I think you should have just taken the L and sat down and thought some more. Black American is a culture. African American is a culture too and we can all work together but we can also acknowledge our uniqueness.

    This was alot of words to not take any responsibility

  26. Stace
    August 22, 2018 at 11:08 am

    I wish you didn’t have to write this article. Black people across the world were victimized and brutalized and colonized not just the one’s whose ancestors were brought to the United States. And if a person is advocating for you and trying to make you daily existence better you will refuse this? You will cut off your nose to spite your face on some weird principle? Can’t people see this is a divisive tactic meant to keep us fighting among ourselves while they continue to pillage and plunder.. I just don’t understand.

  27. Ms. Lorna
    August 22, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Luvvie, I’m with you. Always. #WakandaForever #Blaxit #LuvvNation

    And, to be completely honest, I didn’t know Tevin was still alive. I thought he died a few years ago (no shade; seriously, I though brothah was dead). So whatever fall out has taken place, and admittedly, I’m not aware of what all transpired, I love this article – every word – because it highlights something. Whether or not we have “vibranium”, ALL Melanin Folks Are Wakandans! And we need to stick together.

    And the whining mofos who always have a complaint and want to start mess need to have several seats. Not one of those bammas cared about Tevin, probably even his own momma, so now they use this as an excuse to attack one of our own solely because they are mad at Orange Hitler in the White Nationalists House. I get people are frustrated, but stop attacking our own!!! And Luvvie is ours! All #COPE folks need to surround her, and each other, and recognize that ALL Black Lives Matter! Black folks aren’t a monolith, no. We are all different. But we’re all the same, too. And ain’t nobody gonna challenge Luvvie’s Black cookout privileges!

    *Miranda Priestly voice*
    That’s all.

    • Nikki
      August 22, 2018 at 12:52 pm

      Yes Ms.Lorna!!!!!

    • KBS
      August 27, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      Ms. Lorna,

      Since you are with Luvvie, you think Africans are too good to attend HBCUs? You think Africans are too good to attend Kwanza? You think Africans are jealous of Haitians because they won their freedom first? Look at all her post over the last 10 years and let me know if you support this racism: https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593

  28. Eye
    August 22, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Yikes, yikes, yikes

  29. Y'all blew it up for nothing
    August 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    The internet gives people too much damn time to make a big deal out of nothing. I saw the original spat when it first started on Twitter and i was like, oh come on!!! It really wasn’t that big a deal and i used to have a crush on Tevin so hard when i was younger but i wouldn’t go as far as to question someones blackness just because they posed a question that i am sure a lot of people had. People looking for new subscribers on these social platforms make people say and do the dumbest sh*t sometimes.

    • KBS
      August 27, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      The original spat is NOT about Tevin. Its about racist post that Luvvie’s been making over the last 10 years. Now, look at these tweets and let me know if you still think its not a big deal: https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593

  30. Nila
    August 22, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    I just wanted to note that it’s quite stunning that you didn’t learn about slavery until you got to college. I was born in the States but moved back to Nigeria at the age of nine. I grew up in Lagos, and I have to say that we were taught about slavery in school. It may not have been an in depth study, but I certainly had a fundamental understanding of the slave trade and how it affected Black people in America. There was also pop culture through movies like Amistad and TV shows like Roots and also books. I’m a voracious reader and I unearthed interesting info about the Igbos (my tribe) and how we were sold to ports like Trinidad, Jamaica, Belize, and even in the US where we ended up in Maryland, Virginia and Georgia.
    Also, Nigeria’s colonizers didn’t rob us of all our resources, in fact we’re richer than rich, and the Niger Delta is poof of that fact because its sinking from the oil spillage that foreign companies are causing from the drilling. What was taken from Nigeria was the privilege of being able to manage ourselves cohesively with the resources at our disposal.
    I think knowledge is power and avid curiosity is a lifesaver. The more you know, the more you empower yourself and it allows the ability to assess things in ways that won’t offend, because of the innate instinct to be respectful and humble especially when it comes to ultra-sensitive issues.

  31. c'mon luvvie
    August 22, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Luvvie, I read your entire blog and it is good writing….But you are reaching. All you needed to do was apologize. You haven’t lived the BLACK AMERICAN experience. You can’t possibly connect to it other that we all black together.
    As a West Indian who descended from slavery as well, i can’t even relate (although we relate more than the Africans). we never had to deal with slavery growing, we were all BLACK in the islands.
    You misspoke and got corrected. Apoloize! But your EGO won’t allow you to and your narcissism is showing. you are not a VICTIM.

    Get over yourself and “can we talk?”

  32. Descendant of Chattel Slaves
    August 22, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Not a Luvvie fan and never will be. Truth of the matter is she’s been problematic and shady AF imho. Also I was way more bothered by her SNARK on the day of OUR Queen of Soul transition than her ignorant/judgmental comment about Tevin Campbell. No Africans do NOT embrace DOS; its a FACT!! Just as its a FACT wypipo use them and other Immigrants to keep DOS as a permanent underclass; and African Immigrants gladly/docily jump into that SPACE.
    My thing is if the Motherland is so great; wtf they running over here for? To take space from talented DOS who are seen as too demanding that’s why!! FOHWTBS

    End of my Rant

  33. Lexy
    August 22, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Luvvie I love you, but your post still missing a major point. You aren’t ethnically Black American. We are different, which is great! But just as I can’t move to Nigeria and become Nigerian ethnically, its the same as moving here. This is why Black Americans feel so annoyed. Our culture is claimed and taken by everyone without any credit. There are Africans that listen to rap, go to HBCU’s, join black sororities and fraternities and still question the existence of Black American culture. I’m not saying that’s you, but the suggestion that your American citizenship and race makes you a part of a culture that is very distinct from others in the diaspora contributes to the ignorant outlook many black immigrants have.

  34. You're reaching Luvvie
    August 22, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Luvvie. You are reaching.

    You don’t share the same African-American experience as descendants of the enslaved. Stay in your lane or accept the consequences when you get rightfully dragged.

    We don’t move to Nigeria & try to school you on Yoruba culture (including selling our ancestors into slavery).

    This wasn’t worth the read bc it wasn’t the point. You are not the victim here.

    You got dragged bc you spoke out of turn & ignorance. Own it & keep moving.

  35. 🙄
    August 22, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    While this article is important, it has nothing to do with what transpired on Twitter. I won’t go on too long but you got dragged because:

    1. You’re a writer. You know the implication of “from under a rock.” The people who are defending that word usage know the connotation of that and would be equally offended if it were used on themselves or someone they cared about.

    2. Homophobia and ignorance stripped Tevin of what could have been a stellar career. So, yes, people are protective of him.

    3. I’m petty too. I love snark. But it doesn’t have to be used every time you speak. People brought him up due to his relationship to the Queen and his talent. So instead of defaulting to ugliness and reducing this man to a forgotten relic, you could have done a quick search. “Tevin Campbell? Why him. Let me do my Googles.”

    4. Going back to point 3, people gotta stop defaulting to shade all the damn time if you can’t take the shade back. You can also check your faves and people you support. Keep them balanced and on point. And if your fave does something sh*tty and you die on a hill for them, you’re equally sh*tty.

    5. Just do better. You supposedly wrote the book on it.

    • blogdiz
      August 22, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      5. Just do better. You supposedly wrote the book on it… Mic Drop Thank you.

      Personal I thought her tweet was a bit out of line but nothing too serious and of course some people on twitter always take it too far
      But instead of taking her L and moving on , this doubling down and now writing this long a$$ “woe is me” kumbaya epistle is more of a turn off than her original original tweet and I am not even AA myself

    • ciecie
      August 22, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      #5…say whaaaaaat

  36. Vittoria Sedoux
    August 22, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Whoo this post– a 201 level seminar in “How To Deflect From The Fact That I Messed Up, So Imma Make This About Me and My Feelings About Being Globally Roasted Like Memphis BBQ.”

    NOWHERE in here is there any level of regret or personal acceptance that your original post is what set this off, and that sure, folks came together as one to gather you up. Also, trying to lay this at the feet of other Black people in the name of a supposed teaching moment in order to shrink the spotlight is almost on some primetime Madonna Louise Ciccone levels of you-gotta-be-kidding-me BS.

    You are not the victim here. Plain and simple.

    Oh well. If this is the route you’re choosing, this will be the last time I come to this site, support any Luvvie projects, or look to her for her social commentary. Best of luck, and like my grandma said, y’all can have this, cuz naw….

    • Prettydarkskinnedgirl
      August 27, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      This kinda gives me the sads! By this I mean not only this entire clusterf*ck of a situation, but this novel-length deflection of responsibility! I ain’t NEVER seen a Luvvie blog post this long! The entire hell is this? I have been living under the rock next door to Tevin and didn’t know anything about her recurrence of foot-in-mouth-disease or that Black Twitter had come for her to provide foot removal surgery. I was only able to connect the dots between that debacle and this self-serving novella because of a post on Madamenoire! Great job Luvvie! You completely buried the lede in this post!

      I was a member of LuvvNation and supported Luvvie because we were sisters in snark and she was my Petty Pal in my head. But I’m a Black woman and iCant support her on this. In fact, if she’d just admitted she failed successfully, not only would she have saved some of her edges but she would have minimized the major reputation damage. Because she couldn’t pick up her face and just say sorry, Pandora’s box was opened, zombie tweets got released (yes, folks be bringing up old stuff), and I saw for myself a side of her I’d been blind to before. Were it not for this, I would never have seen the receipts folks started producing when they came for her. She made it too easy for them too! By posting this foolery, she gave her critics direct access to her fan base so they could deliver the receipts factory direct to us. I didn’t have to go a-looking or go down an internet rabbit hole and happen upon them or even do a hashtag search on Twitter. All I had to do is what I normally do on a Luvvie post: read the comments and follow the links.

      I can’t argue with facts; her words are her words and she’s been telling us who she is since 2009. I’m ready to start listening…

  37. Lisa
    August 22, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Well, I have to say, you are definitely “strategic” and will use anything to receive additional attention and clicks. I used to read your blog and even started listening to your podcast. But your insensitive response that paints you as a victim shows that you are disingenuous. You should have just taken your L and moved on, plus you were able to respond when the events initially took place. And to turn this into a faux conversation regarding “your” Blackness, when you are definitely aware that Blackness isn’t monolithic and we represent various nations and ethnicities. Bye Luvvie.

    • Lisa
      August 22, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      Also, is this really the battle that you wanted to go there for, especially considering that YOU started this entire situation with YOUR comments. If people responded with agreement and praise, you wouldn’t be writing this right now. But since you didn’t get the response that YOU wanted, you are playing the “reverse xenophobic” card. I mean really.

      You obviously stewed for days and couldn’t wait for the opportunity to capitalize off of this situation and paint yourself as a victim. This is what oppressive people do Luvvie.

      Instead, you should have just learned from this experience and apologized and kept it moving. Your pride out here is making you look even worse and even more unaware. You are proving Mikki’s comments about you even more. But that’s on you. You don’t “get it” this time.

      Trust that life will continue to teach you, because I can guarantee that you will experience this again and again until you learn. Didn’t you make an insensitive statement about Biracial Black people before? You gon learn to discern the lines of “comedy” and staying in your lane & only talking about what it is appropriate for you to talk about. You gon learn.

      • kat
        August 22, 2018 at 3:14 pm

        say that

      • Taylor
        August 22, 2018 at 5:57 pm

        Yup

  38. kat
    August 22, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Namaste…Luna…HayShay
    All spot on…you can’t go after people and not expect to get your ass tagged. I remember the same thing happening when your grandmother died, you were butt hurt, but ALL the times you dogged people out in the name of “hilarious”…
    IJS…if you give you gonna get. You funny as hell but these clapbacks are funny as well. Put on your big girl panties and own it

    • Prettydarkskinnedgirl
      August 27, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      Facts! Shade is a double-edged sword…

  39. Jamie Browning
    August 22, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Maybe someone who hates Fela doesn’t hate Africa… but it’s not a good sign, eh?

  40. Tacko
    August 22, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    I just discovered you. (Late to the party) You are such a great writer and this article was sooo goood!
    looking forward to reading more from you.
    So from a senegalese in Paris Deuces !!!

  41. Taylor
    August 22, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Luvvie, you be doing the very most: To deflect, to obscure, to redirect.

    You have chosen to center your response to this debacle to that part that descended into personal criticism of your heritage. Your words were well thought out, reasonable and in any other context might serve as an excellent thinkpiece to kickoff a meaningful discussion. But not here.

    We know you are black. We know you are Nigerian. We know you could not have grown up in these here United States of American and not experienced some shade of racism and discrimination. And yes, we have been rooting for you. With every click, every retweet, every book purchase, every podcast and TED talk view, every cackle of laughter, we stay rooting for you. Your loud, bright, successful platform is a result of us rooting for you – be clear about that.

    That’s why when you failed to hear what TC’s stans were really saying, it felt, treasonous. They were trying to say to you, “hey, he’s one of ours, he got a raw deal, the industry wronged him, he’s under that rock not for lack of talent and relevance, but rather lifestyle, and we got him.” They wanted you to know there’s some pain associated with what happened to him; that he had a personal relationship with the deceased and today was not the day to opine on his relevance. But you didn’t hear any of that. All you heard (based on this and your twitter response) was you weren’t black-American enough to give an opinion on a black artist. Peak Tone Deafness! “YOU” made this about your Africaness, by your response, then and now. When AuntieAva, SisterMissyElliott and BrotherWale clapped back they were lifting him from up under that metaphorical rock you placed him, NOT as a rebuke of your “Africaness” but rather, like the rest of his stans, to “set the record straight”. Yet, you wont own that.

    I was hoping an intervention by your agent/publicist or an emergency session with your therapist (or some other confidant) would bring you some clarity about this noise, but instead, it appears you sought refuge from our brothers over at VerySmartBrothers who managed to write a puff piece giving you temporary shelter and time to create this deflective response, while adding salt to the wound; in 36 paragraphs and 2,317 words you never once attempted to mitigate the insult your followers expressed, all the while casting yourself as the victim. ProTip: A person who trades in shade can never EVER find shelter in victimhood.

    I think you understand all this, Luvvie. BlackTwitter has answered your question: “who is the authority on Blackness and Black culture” – they are, but you ain’t listening. Perhaps they will speak in a language you understand, coins.

    I’ll be rooting for you… to do better.

    • Annoyed
      August 22, 2018 at 6:09 pm

      Jesus! It’s not this serious! Ugh!
      You act and sound like she put a hit out on Tevin Campbell FFS.
      Yeah the tweet was misguided but the reaction is definitely overblown.
      How many of you even cared about Tevin and streamed his music until a few days ago?
      Also, I’ve seen worse musical takes on Twitter, I’ve seen some of your fellow black people claim that Chris Brown was on the same level as MJ and some other bullshit, and yet there was no public meltdown.

      We all know what this “dragging” is truly about, the average African American walks around with so much animosity towards Africans, especially the ones who come to American and “succeed”.
      You think they are coming to steal your opportunities and excel after you and ancestors have done all the work, and so the moment someone like Luvvie sneezes in a way you do not approve of, you attack and do not hesitate to remind them that they are still outsiders.
      Which is exactly what racists do.
      It’s so ridiculous how so many of you are mirroring the behavior of white racists and you do not even know it. Smh.

      • Taylor
        August 22, 2018 at 9:20 pm

        To be clear, I have no affinity for TC beyond a general desire to see him and all AA males live their full potential. My opinion was gleaned from the comments – which if you read objectively, were consistent in their concern for his well being. When Ava, Missy, Wale chimed in, I was clear Luvvie made a wrong turn and needed to acknowledge it. Her refusal to do so was on her. We all answer to someone, unless we’re independently wealth, and in this instance, for Luvvie, is was BlackTwitter. She is not above reproach, non of us are. Her quadrupling down in this post, is not a good look, and quite a turn off.

        I am a successful AA attorney and am sincerely “rooting” for her; there is no value for me in her failure. I enjoy healthy social and professional relationships with many African immigrants. This is about her misread, her failure to acknowledge it and her arrogance in redirecting the discuss. That is all.

        • KB
          August 22, 2018 at 11:46 pm

          Luvvie stated that, as an African, she is too elitist to attend an HBCU. Why would you root for someone like that who thinks she is better than the institutions we built out of slavery?

          1:40:18 —https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz9tarDMw6I&feature=push-lbss&attr_tag=ViZFURcT2MspuDJo%3A6

        • Taylor
          August 23, 2018 at 9:25 am

          Her self-identified elitism is most definitely unpleasant. Our most celebrated leaders, Barack & Michelle didn’t attend HBCUs, although (unlike her), I don’t question their appreciation for the role and contribution they continue to play in our collective success. Her lack of appreciation for HBCU’s is a symptom of her “otherness” (in her mind) and is at the crux of the argument of her critics.

          I practice a great deal of criminal defense, as such, I advocate for the capacity of us all to grow, change and improve our human condition; I’m rooting for her to learn and do freak’n better! I believe her success has imbolden her “above it” attitude and I suspect, at this point, the only thing that will get her attention and cause her to actually “do better” is if her coins are affected. Even then it’ll probably be a surface/image change, not character. She has shown us who she is. But I’ll never stop hoping/rooting that she does better.

        • KBS
          August 27, 2018 at 1:26 pm

          Taylor,

          Yes, I agree with what you said. Her change will be on the surface. Only damage control. Her racism towards Black Americans runs deep and it dates back over 10 years. Look at these twitter post: https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593 Luvvie insults our HBCUs, our slave ancestors, Black-American sounding names, our holidays (Kwanza), etc. YET, Black-American buy her books, merch and place her on a platform to WIN by getting book deals with Shonda Rhimes, etc. Luvvie was the FIRST author to speak at the African-American Museum of History in Washington, DC. Think about that. A Black-American woman like yourself could have enjoyed that platform but they gave it to an African who hates us!? You will see in her post as she talks about the “Slave Cry”. Its disgusting. Luvvie is an enemy of our people. If a White person said that we would have their head and end their career. I don’t know why we treat Luvvie any different.

      • notthisagain
        August 25, 2018 at 9:56 am

        @Annoyed
        If its not that serious , Why is Luvvie writing these long a$$ woe is me epistles?.If this is simply about AA hating on Africans (eyeroll ) why does Luvvie have such a large AA following and support as outlined by @ Taylor and also could she have achieved her currently success without it ?

        You know another thing that white racist do ? be willfully obtuse and dismissive when they are loud and wrong

      • KBS
        August 27, 2018 at 2:08 pm

        “We all know what this “dragging” is truly about, the average African American walks around with so much animosity towards Africans, especially the ones who come to American and “succeed”.”

        Black-Americans gave Luvvie the platform to succeed. Luvvie is a cultural critic of BLACK AMEIRCAN CULTURE. Yet, at the same time she absolutely hates Black American people. Look at the racist tweets that she has made about my people over the last 10 years:

        https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593

        Its ridiculous that you see us as racist but you don’t see her comments in this link as racist. Over the last 10 years, Luvvie has insulted our slave ancestors, HBCUs, holidays, naming traditions, etc. The Tevin tweet was simply the final straw! smh.

    • Elizabeth
      August 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      Taylor – Best comment on this thread. You nailed the collective protective feelings we have toward TC especially during a time where Americans are collectively grieving the passing of a legendary Black American cultural icon. The idea that this would be a good time to wonder aloud about the relevance of ANY beloved Black American singer was just bad form.

      As you said, we KNOW Luvvie’s Black and we KNOW she’s Nigerian. That’s never in question. But taking a cheap shot at him in the wake of Aretha’s passing was like putting a spotlight on herself that says, “HEY!!! LOOK AT ME! I’M NOT FROM HERE!” and Black twitter went and did what Black twitter does when someone with a large platform isn’t reading the room properly. I’m not mad at her because, hell, I’ve put my foot in my mouth and said some ignorant shit in life. Who hasn’t? I get it. I just don’t think she’s a victim. And I think this situation is a pattern of behavior that shows she has a lot of issues she needs to work out with her identity. And that’s exactly what’s being spelled out for us in this overly-long, extremely telling, distraction of a blog post.

    • Shannyn
      August 23, 2018 at 10:00 am

      “ProTip: A person who trades in shade can never EVER find shelter in victimhood.”

      Please put this in a t-shirt. No other comment necessary

    • August 25, 2018 at 6:47 am

      As I scrolled through the comments, yours struck me as being the most clear and concise. I just found out about this debacle, in passing, as do not have twitter. I’m not replying on the subject of this matter. I am just here to say how deeply impressed and envious of your ability to speak your mind so clearly and concisely. You have inspired me and given me GOALS. In pursuit of survival, I have allowed my disuse of wordsmanship, and ability to separate my emotion from speech, to affect my ability to communicate effectively as you have here. While my soul speaks in your manner, I fail at managing to put it forth verbally in person. I default to anger and fustration and taking jabs, the “angry black lady”. I dont mean to stan you, but you are my hero. If you could take a moment to guide me towards any site, books, videos or any other source, to improve these skills I would be very grateful. Thank you.

      As an aside, I am a 50yr old, African American, self taught, NY ghetto raised, Journeyman Electrician in the construction field, who dropped out in the 4th grade, got my GED and went Navy. I work almost soley with men, typically white men, who I want to view me as I view you. I do have alot of anger and frustration. I just want to do better. I read when I have the chance, but mostly fantasy because true life is too stressful and depressing as it is. It is my goal to train other African american women and girls into the skilled trades because here is a GREAT living wage for under educated women with children to raise. I need to be seen as intelligent and professional and have failed and lost confidence in myself due to my inability to do this in stressful situations. As I’ve said, I try but when faced with sexism, racism and resentment for being in a trade I’m not wanted in. I ashamedly resort to ghetto styled anger. Please help if you can, Anyone.

    • Prettydarkskinnedgirl
      August 27, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      Every. Single. Word. Of. This.

      • Prettydarkskinnedgirl
        August 27, 2018 at 4:11 pm

        That reply was directed at Taylor’s comment…

  42. Hilarious
    August 22, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    African Americans have got be the most easily offended bunch of people on the planet.
    Do you lot never tire of taking everything as a personal attack and whining about everything?
    As a non-black person I find all of this amusing, it’s really funny to see how easily triggered you lot get. Smh.

    • Prettydarkskinnedgirl
      August 27, 2018 at 4:37 pm

      As a non-Black person you find yourself in the wrong place. So what you’re non-Black? We can’t all be perfect.

  43. Al
    August 22, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    While you all are defending this cockroach face she calls Black Americans Akata. Nigerians use AKATA to refer to Black Americans as wild animals. Carry on!

    • Vee
      September 5, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      WHERE, Sway. Show me a link or screenshot of her direct comment, please. I’ma need receipts or you’re gonna need a tall glass of STFU. Disagreement is one thing, but y’all killing me w/ this he said she said bullshyt.

  44. Nomoretribalwars
    August 22, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Thank You. I was upset not even so much by the comment but by the anger everyone was giving. I am a light skinned African American woman who recently was in an African supermarket around the corner from my house and the woman was like what are you doing here? I’m like I need coconut milk and on the outside of your store it says Spanish. Maybe they should take it down if I’m not welcome. I guess my thing is I was threatened by white ppl bc of not white and racism has tore my family apart only to have Africans say “oh you may not wear “our” clothes really? It’s not even about Tevin Campbell it’s about understanding there is blood sorrow and pain behind the blatant disregard for our suffering. I don’t know what the Biafran war was like but I do know you never had to question your worth as an African. Every single day black ppl in America are terrorized for being “African” whether we know our culture or not and I think persons who immigrate here should make an effort to learn about us. My growing up was filled with teaching about Africa and a continent we did not know only to have those same people shun us and tear us down like white ppl. Yeah folks can get pissed. I’ve never called an African a “booty scratcher” while that hurts to know that our men (your men) were lynched simply trying to exist I mean without playing oppression olympics I feel there is really no comparison for hundreds of years of abuse. I believe South Africans May understand this better, but I do appreciate this post.

  45. Abeokuta Jackson
    August 22, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    I just want to know how with one breath you say you are not Akata, but in the next breath you say you are Black American. How, Sway? I no sabi.

    Sincerely,

    A Nigerian (father’s side) / Black American (mother’s side)

  46. DTP
    August 22, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    This is beyond you being “Black”, it’s about NOT being one of native descendants of American slaves by linage, yet you use your Black skin tone, your “skinship” (your words), as enough grounding to criticize one of our own? Nah.

    You can never be one of us. Even if you live in the US 1000 years, entrench yourself in the hood for life, and caught a bullet everyday. This is well beyond the race you bear and culture you claim participation in. You got dragged because you were the wrong person to speak on this topic.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz9tarDMw6I

  47. anthony london
    August 22, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    I can’t believe a woman who grew up in Chicago gets down like this. To the people that don’t understand what some of my native black americans are saying, you may need to read some more about our history. I am at a loss for how you made it to UofI, and then, learned about slavery….
    While I’m not going to questions your experiences in this country, if your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and on, have not had to bear the burden of striving for racial equality, the very chance to be free, you can not speak a struggle you weren’t born from. It is a lineage thing, paid for by the loss of blood.
    Either you get this or you don’t. And yes, it is that serious, regardless of the spark that ignited the discussion. The very fact that you came here is evidence that your background has afforded you level of wealth that the average native black american could not attain. The funny thing is, I didn’t know who you were, but I do now.
    I’ll be paying attention…

  48. KB
    August 22, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    Yvette Carnell showed you (1:40:18) making a twitter statement saying that, as an African, you are too elitist to attend an HBCU. Please explain to all of us HBCU graduates (Morehouse College) why you feel this way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz9tarDMw6I&feature=push-lbss&attr_tag=ViZFURcT2MspuDJo%3A6

  49. Olusegun Femi-Ishola
    August 23, 2018 at 8:49 am

    A very good read! BUT, I do not hold the opinion that many who come to America or migrate to Europe do so because of the enslaved and fellow Blacks who over the years have suffered various denigrations. Many, infact, as you wrote, are unaware of the depth of this history. They cross over only to seek a ‘better’ life. And this brings to my own point.

    “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself- a small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough, without ever having felt sorry for itself”

    Yes, one of the ‘tragedies’ of being in America as an African is that you become ‘Black’. This becomes so prominent, it creeps into your thoughts, you hardly live as a human, but as a ‘black human’. And while I agree with the main message of your article, however, I believe at some point as Blacks, African Americans we need to look away from this sort of discourse that bothers on sentiments and emotions, and focus on how up till now there isn’t a truly successful African nation, at all! Indeed, we can’t rule out global exploitation and manipulation of the world order/system, but if we’re being sincere with ourselves, we’ve even more been bountifully irresponsible running our own basic societal affairs!
    I felt so hollow when Obama addressed African leaders at a U.S./Africa summit in DC some years ago, a counter move at the time to China’s effort to make Africa a major trading partner. Part of his speech was about convincing Coca-Cola to set up shop in parts of Africa which will provide clean water to the people. I died twice!
    Too often, we speak a lot of these rhetorics as in this article and I’ve never quite seen any group of people with a penchant for quotes, rhymes, sentiments and persuasive forms of magniloquence when we really should be busy electing the right people and building ourselves as nations into a formidable force. And let’s see if African Americans won’t be trooping back ‘home’ in droves! Talk is cheap, money buys whiskey. I’ll say Africa has failed herself and African Americans. A system that is void of progressive imagination, void of research, void of applications, void of practical operations and implementation of strategic options, void of policy directions, but directly seeks to raise peoples’ hope through religion to possibilities of London styled underground without even digging tunnels. Come on!

    Great article, Luvvie!

    • Taylor
      August 23, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Luvvie should take you into her confidence, she lacks this perspective and could benefit from its rhetoric.

      This is objective next level diaspora thinking.

    • KBS
      August 27, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      Luvvie has been making racist statements about Black-Americans for years. If she were white, we would have her head. In fact, her twitter post were much more hurtful than I’ve ever heard from even the most racist white people. Click the link, scroll to the right and view all over her tweets: https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593

  50. Linda
    August 24, 2018 at 5:08 am

    Luvvie, you still don’t get it. No one is coming at you for not being black. We as DOAS are coming at you for lack of respect for our Black American culture. This letter reads as if Black American culture is automatically gifted to all Africans that come to America. I just feel like your being stubborn and you don’t want to admit that you overstepped your boundaries. I am a descendant of slaves from Mississippi. Knowing my family lineage has been cut off from me because my elders refused to relive the pain and suffering that happened in Mississippi. Through research I’ve discovered the pain and trauma my ancestors went through. One incident included body mutilation at the hand of a white man that simply didn’t like the sight of ancestor. They chopped his body up and spreaded it along a rail road track. Black Americans went through a lot psychologically and it’s a slap in the face when we’re denied the platform to tell our story. Our ancestors blood is spilled all over this land and we refuse to let just anyone speak for us.

  51. […] with the Awesomely Luvvie FB web page | The put up About Blackness, Africanness and When It’s Sufficient appeared first on Awesomely Luvvie. Duplicating this content material in entirety is expressly […]

  52. Jason
    August 25, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Why don’t you American Black hating immigrant loving African folks just go back to the countries you love so much? Why are you here criticizing the descendants of the enslaved African in America? You should find an American Black, and give them a hug. Their struggle (not yours) is the only reason you are even in this country.

  53. August 25, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    I’m so disappointed in your entire write up, your kind is the reason why some DOS don’t like Africans especially Nigerians. Who raised you? What happened to be humble at all times. These African Americans paved the way for us, so they deserve our respect no matter what. You are a Nigerian who gained naturalization, be careful because Trump is on the lookout for the likes of you for deportation. Rubbish! How black are you? Are you not Yoruba? Leave it to those with the pain of having a relative who was lynched.
    Anyways, Yvette Carnell brought you to my attention madam snob.

    • Renaldo Stultz
      August 26, 2018 at 5:51 am

      Thank you ally!

    • KBS
      August 27, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      That’s what’s up! She has been making racist statements about Black-Americans for over 10 years. Look at these twitter rants about our slave ancestors, ghetto names, etc. She stated that she was too elitist, as an African, to attend a HBCU in America. She goes on to insult our slave ancestors and even our holidays: https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593

  54. Emily Morgan
    August 25, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    In light of recent events, I have seen it shared in other places online that some of our brothers and sisters of Jamaican heritage who reside in the UK, have had experiences similar to Black Americans…with many Britons of Nigerian extraction looking down upon *them,* and disrespecting *their* unique culture and heritage. Our Jamaican brothers and sisters share with Black Americans the common link of slave ancestry. Is it because we come from a lineage of slavery, that we are seen by some Nigerians as not quite measuring up? And why does it seem to be Nigerians who have this unfortunate reputation for possessing a holier-than-thou attitude with others in the Diaspora? I personally have not experienced this attitude with people I know from Ghana, Burundi, Sierra Leone, or Cameroon. My experiences with these beautiful people have only been kind and respectful. What, exactly, are Nigerians being taught about the Diaspora and the Atlantic Slave Trade? (Serious question!)

    I personally feel Caribbean and South African Blacks have traditionally been the groups who have come closest in understanding and respecting the struggle of Black American slave descendants on a deeper level. So shout out to y’all – I see you and love you, and stand in solidarity with you, grateful for the love you have shown us.

    Since it has also been suggested by Luvvie in the past on Twitter that Black Americans have some sort of beef with Haitians, I would like to personally take this opportunity to express my love and gratitude for my Haitian brothers and sisters, whose ancestors fought valiantly and successfully for freedom and independence, and for whom I have nothing but respect and admiration. No beef and no shade…all love. Peace.

    • KBS
      August 27, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      Luvvie stated, among other things, that Black Americans have beef with Haitians because they won their freedom before us:https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593 Click the photo and scroll to the right to read all her racist tweets.

  55. Renaldo Stultz
    August 26, 2018 at 5:32 am

    You know you just rambled for at least three pages worth of writing in MS Word, right?

  56. dofa
    August 27, 2018 at 9:09 am

    I get what you are saying, but I think this neglects to mention the anit-blackness and I mean African American/Black American that happens in immigrant homes. We not gonna act like ya Mama’s and Daddys don’t call Black Americans Lazy, and say we have no culture, etc. In my opinion you just sound salty cause your joke was not received well. Seems to me if you are a forever student and all that you would have KNOWN not to come for Tevin. You sent for Black twitter and they came for you. End of story so if you can have a whole website dedicated to having opinions of Black culture don’t get mad when people have come for jollof rice. It ain’t that deep.

  57. KB
    August 27, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Luvvie has been making racist statements about Black-Americans for over 10 years. She has mocked our slave ancestors, laughed at us regarding the word Akata, insulted our HBCUs, degraded our names as “ghetto” and insulted our holidays (Kwanza). We have twitter receipts to back up her hatred of Black-American people. Now, let me see you Africans make excuses for this: https://twitter.com/eBoPeep/status/1032614923539566593

  58. Danielle
    August 27, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Girl, bye. Your plate at the bbq has been revoked. Go join Rachel Dolezal.

  59. August 27, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Your still very young but your also very arrogant and its hard to dialogue with someone who cant hear. Baby girl you have shown your arse more than once we see you and recognize you. No you cant define or represent Black America Nigerians bleach they skin. Where is your gossip on Nollywood Boo? How dare you insult the ancestors your people sold for whiskey? Girl Bye we gone dissect these relationships and stop the scavenger nature of this mess.

  60. Lola
    August 28, 2018 at 10:13 am

    I get all this BUT, if an African-American moved to Nigeria at age 9 and is inadvertently immersed in Nigerian culture, particularly Yoruba culture, but still somehow makes an uninformed comment about Sunny Ade or Fela…or even 2Face Idibia, our people might take issue with it. While I don’t think it’s fair to question your blackness, your comment left things open for people to question your knowledge on African American culture and cultural icons. Comments like the one you made could stir emotions…and did.

    My parents are Nigerian but I was born and raised here. Hell, I was annoyed by the Tevin Campbell comment because anyone who knows anything about R&B history knows that Tevin Campbell is a legend. Even if he hasn’t been seen in 1000 years, that’s a fact. He was a child prodigy and his voice is still stellar. If not for rumors about his sexual orientation, he could have had a career that rivals R Kelly’s and the rest.

    We need to be careful about how we cast away people who are deemed “irrelevant” just because time has passed.

  61. LegitConfused
    August 28, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    LegitConfused

    While scrolling through my twitter feed, I happened to see a 2016 interview you did with the The Commonwealth Club ((October 2016). In that interview you talked about who you were, the release of your book and it becoming a NYT best seller and your blog success. You were asked if you had any regrets about anything you had ever written. Surprisingly, you said yes! I’m thinking, “oh, ok, this is a good thing”. You begin by explaining that your blog has a way of chronicling your growth as a human being, and there were things you wrote back in day that you vehemently disagree with now; things that weren’t your business; points you made that were wrong. Before you discussed the things you said/wrote you launched into (just as above) an explanation about not having any context about race, slavery before coming here. With this backdrop you acknowledge writing an essay in high school in which you won a scholarship arguing against reparations for the enslavement of AA in America. You went on to state that it wasn’t until you entered college (around 2001, if my math is good), studied black history, race/ethnicity, and learned about the middle passage/slavery and its lingering oppressive impact on its descendants. You go on to talk about how college changed you and how you viewed the world and your politics. You were a much different person by the time you left college; had experienced a shift in consciousness. This is also the time period where you met others from the diaspora who embraced, celebrated and relished in their African heritage. This encouraged you to do the same. Which was apparently another shift from how you approached your nationality. After seeing that, I’m thinking: Ok. She wrote that essay when she was in high school, uninformed, youthful; everyone deserves to be young. Cool. Annnnnnnd if you read between the lines (because she never actually says it), she didn’t think that way anymore, she actually regretted writing it. I’m good with that. So I move (in my mind) to reconcile the history of you enlightenment, and this is what I got:

    • 1994 age 9 arrives in America with no knowledge of the history of AA Slavery
    • 1994-2001 Assimilates with AA culture; downplays Nigerian heritage/otherness to fit in
    • 2001 wins high school essay scholarship arguing AGAINST reparations for AA Slavery
    • 2002 Enters College; takes classes in AA history/studies; learns of slavery; meets other Africans from the diaspora; begins to appreciate her own heritage/culture
    • 2006 starts what becomes Luvvie blog
    • 2009-2011 publishes a series of post mocking AA culture; disparages HBCU’s; mimics slavery and its vestiges; laughs at efforts of AA to create positive culture.
    • 2016 publishes book

    Wait a minute. Do you see the problem here?… If you experienced a change in consciousness while in college through study, exposure, maturity, how do you reconcile your hateful/hurtful words between 2009-2011 – three-five years POST college? Exactly when was your “eureka” moment?

    Annnnnnnd I don’t think it is a coincidence that you were publishing these post right around the time you were also reclaiming and learning to proudly embrace your own culture and heritage. While you were picking up your Nigerian flag, you were besmirching AA for celebrating Kawanza. While you were benefiting from a scholarship sponsored by an organization created by and built on the backs (literally) of previously enslaved people, you vowed never to send a child of yours to the only school former slaves could attend – an HBCU. While you were fortunate enough to escape the abject poverty of your native land, you judged the uninformed choices of urban youth who know only what they are taught. To make yourself feel big, better than, you had to mock them? And at every turn in those posts, you were sure to separate yourself as “Naija”, “elite”, “not my children”. Luvvie, I’m not judging you…I’m psychoanalyzing you! This is some next level BS hypocrisy.

    You need to fix this mess. And you need to fix it publicly. Your next blog, you have to talk about those post, fully explain your mindset, what you were thinking at the time. Because nothing you’ve said to date makes sense. I can’t imagine any respectable organization committed to our progress, any HBCU, any ally, supporting you until you fix this mess. Geez. You make my head hurt.

  62. Miss Hitoshi
    September 3, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    I was a major Tevin Campbell fan as a teenager. To be honest I thought he died years back. Seriously though, some of the awful stuff I’ve seen directed at Luvvie on Twitter had nothing at all to do with the artist but more to do with her Africaness. As a diaspora African this backlash is what scares me about African Americans. The need to destroy anyone not born in American of a descendant of slaves is sad for everyone. The white supremacists do not need to do much to keep all black people suppressed. They can just watch us play out our crab mentality games on each other. This was a calculated pounce by folks that have hated both Luvvie and Africans in general and had nothing to to with shading the artist. As a TC fan, I hate that his name was used to perpetuate hate and xenophobia. This does not lift the AA any more than calling others African booty scratches does. Social media has really exposed the worst of humanity.

    • Renaldo Stultz
      September 3, 2018 at 11:13 pm

      See, here we go with the pity party.

      So, black Americans are not supposed to point out the obvious?

      Do you know how many African immigrants checked me for talking about African history? What did I do when they checked me? I shut up and let them school me on what they knew of their culture. I didnt cry a river over repeating what I read in the books written by African Historians. I didnt say, “Oh, youre mistreating me because I am a black American–a descendant of slavery,” instead I exercised some patience and understanding. Why? Thats how you hash out problems.

      But, you know what? As Im writing this response, I realized something–black Americans have always had to master conflict resolution to survive in American, while many black immigrants probably didnt have to necessarily master this skill. And, honestly? Even though I really came to this realization in the moment, I think I exercised patience and understanding with confrontational African immigrants, due to inherently realizing their different type of acculturation.

      I really think African immigrants need to develop thicker skin. For instance, they have been making the same complaint for too long: “Black Americans called me bootyscratcher.” Got damnit. They called me a piss pot for wetting the bed. LET IT GO. Shit. I know people I grew up with that beat me up and we are cool today.

      And please save the Pan-Africanist rhetoric–white supremacists do not need to do much to keep all black people suppressed; they can just watch us play out our crab mentality games on each other; This was a calculated pounce by folks that have hated both Luvvie and Africans in general. One, white supremacy uses African immigrants as a pawn to displace black Americans. Yes, white supremacy uses black immigrants to displace black Americans. Do your research on immigration spikes, and you will see the spike usually coincides with some advancement in black American society. Two, how is Luvvie or any other African immigrant not a crab if they took a seat at a university to fill a quota for black students? If thats not a crab, then I dont know what crab is. Sorry. Three, how is this displacement of black Americans in America by black immigrants not a calculated effort? Do you really think we dont know your African parents didnt know what they were doing by bringing their children to American to gain admission to any and anything due to their childrens skin color? Of course they knew they were leeching off something they didnt earn.

      • Akosua
        September 15, 2018 at 12:21 pm

        Soo… Renaldo,

        Where to begin? I have read all 170+ comments on here, after reading Luvvie’s post. Taylor’s comments resonated with me, in particular. There is pain, on so many levels, and too often we fail to recognize that and tread accordingly. I’ve said it many times before, but it feels like the internet/social media may be the death of us. People write the most incredible things, that I (want to) believe they wouldn’t dare say to someone’s face. Of all the comments, however, I was most taken aback by yours. A real slap in my face. I think that is what you intended, as your resentment and animosity toward African immigrants is clear to see. As if being being described as coming from an $-hole country from Orange Foolious himself wasn’t enough.

        My parents came from Ghana, and I was born here in the US in the early 1970s. So, by birth, I am American. Like many young people whose parents came from elsewhere, I struggled with my identity. Growing up in the cornfields of the Midwest, and not wanting to “stick out” more than I felt I did, I resisted my parents’ cultural influences. I even refused to speak my parents’ native language at home, instead preferring to assimilate and ‘fit in’ with my peers. Foolish behavior ill-informed by the ignorance of my tender youth.

        Reading your post takes me back to that time of uncertainty, and I find myself wondering, where do I fit in, in your eyes and the eyes of those who agree with your sentiments? Am I a Black American, with African parents? Am I Ghanian? I see myself as being African American. I’m not so sure the label matters as much as what I identify as home and where I come from… what I know of myself, if you will.

        So, it is peculiar to me, that your observations lead you to conclude that my parents were leeches, and, by inference, I must be a crab for having benefitted from the privilege of going to a ‘majority’ university for my education, on scholarship. Furthermore, you clearly reference that my parents (and me??) and people like my family must be some threat to you, because our existence here was orchestrated by white supremacy to “replace” you?? So, to correct this grievance you have, what should my family do, after 40+ years living in this country? Go back to Africa? Because a better life (in this country) should be the sole birthright of those who are DOAS? So we have come to this place, full circle in this 2018 America, that immigrants (legal or otherwise) need not apply.

        Wow, your vitriol is staggering. That Luvvie has at times trafficked in a particular brand of elitism and narcissism as it relates to Black Americans does not excuse your viewpoint toward those of us who are immigrants or first generation. I get it. Giants came here before us all, and we must never fail to acknowledge the foundations they laid, so that we can have the lives and opportunities we now have. The majority of them are nameless and faceless to most, but that does not diminish the magnitude of their sacrifice.

        The message I am receiving loud and clear from your words sounds chillingly similar to the rhetoric out of the swamp at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on the subject of immigrants. You say that you have come to realize a patience and understanding [of African immigrants] by inherently realizing their different type of acculturation? Well, it would appear that ‘patience and understanding’ for you remains elusive. Sorry.

  63. Golden
    September 16, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    I was reading the controversy about Cynthia Erivo’ s role for playing Harriett Gunman and here is my two part opinion about it.

    Far as Ms.Erivo playing the role of Harriett,I have no problem with it but the only thing I hope for her..or moreso..that her producer understand is who she was. Currently,I’m reading a book called What Will My Mother Say by Dympna Ugwu-Oju.In it ,discuss her journey and experience being a woman in small-town Nigeria and in the United States.

    As I was reading the her book,I noticed a couple of pages of it where she discusses about her brother’s marriage to a Panamanian American woman. The family ..as well as the Ibo ( Nigerian ethnic group) community living in her village..was his wife a “freeborn”..her bloodline being free of slavery? According to Miss Ugwu-Oju ,in her culture to be a descendant of a slave is a no no and we be ostracized for it. They’re called ” osus”.

    While I have no problem with Miss Erivo playing Harriett, I hope she knows Harriet heroics, do she understand ( or the director) understand the history of African Americans and why do we pay homage to slaves/ former slaves like Harriett. Too often,people get the wrong impression about it..thinking that African American prefer to stay at the bottom when were actually paying homage to our ancestors for overcoming tremendous life threating odds saving our lives and paving the way for every Black person to have the liberties that wasn’t rewarded to them.

    Far as African Americans like me,I have no problem with Cynthia playing Harriett.Why? We have to think about this: Black slavery took place all over the world. Though there were many slaves were descendants of African people and mixed race Blacks,there were also full blooded Africans still being brought to the states and remained full blooded. It is said that Phyllis Wheatley was a full blooded Senegalese slave woman and in Liberia,there are natives that are called Americo Liberians and they ‘re descendants of African/ African American slaves. What if Ms.Erivo was one of them ,would she be / not eligible to play Harriett?

    I remembered looking at the Black Panther and how fascinated I was not only with the movie but the people in it and the times where from all parts of the African diaspora can dressed in African clothes. I really enjoyed myself. One of the things that we all hoped was that the movie would heighten an interest in learning about each others culture. I still hoping for the same now.