Kenya, Rants

Black Supremacy

There’s a DJ crew in Kenya called Supremacy Sounds. Their mix tapes are quite popular in matatus (public transport mini buses) and clubs, and I’ve even mentioned them before here on this blog. In addition to their mix tape skills, one of the reasons I like them is because of their understanding of the importance of the Internet in the music industry—they actually give away most (all?) of their music for free on their website. Anyways, for the longest time they went by the name Black Supremacy Sounds, and it always made me wonder how well received it would be if I started a new group called White Supremacy Sounds.

For some reason I can’t imagine it would go over very well—not here, not in the US, not anywhere. Just typing the words weirds me out, and saying them aloud sends shivers down my spine. While white supremacy (and racism in general) is certainly alive and well in the USA, it is definitely taboo. People with those kinds of radical opinions generally don’t speak openly of them. Of course there are extreme cases, but those groups don’t account for any significant numbers in the USA’s population. The “modern” KKK, for example, is estimated at around 4,000 – 8,000 members (keep in mind the population of the USA is ~300 million people). Nevertheless, notions of white supremacy in the West are by no means accepted or popular.

I’m not sure why it’s different here in Kenya… people don’t seem to mind the name “Black Supremacy,” and black/African pride is definitely a theme I see often in pop culture here—written on matatus, for example, or in music (“My African Queen”). It makes me uncomfortable thinking about any of those written in honor of white/American/European pride!

Why is it so different in Africa?

Links

For your reading/laughing pleasure, some wholesome white pride websites (don’t they just seem dirty, even just looking at them?):

  • Stormfront – white nationalist community forums
  • White News Now – news by white people, for white people, ABOUT white people?
  • KKK homepage – apparently blocked when viewing from Africa! haha

4 Comments

  1. Usishangae Sana

    Why is it so different in Africa? this is my take on it, its because they don’t know what you know about race relations. In Kenya and pretty much most of Africa when you are growing up as a black kid, your family, relatives, friends, neighbors, teachers, pretty much everyone around you is black, drive from your town to the next town and its all black folk. I am a Kenyan currently living in the USA, i’ve been here many years and boy oh boy is all i have to say about race relations in America. So when you wonder why Africans don’t feel uncomfortable about names like Black Supremacy its because they don’t know how such things are perceived in the west. Living in Africa and then in the USA makes you view things with a different lens, i guess its the same for you only vice versa. I love your blog btw.

    1. Alan Author

      Hhahahah thanks for stopping by. Yeah, I guess it all boils down to exposure! I get in frustrating conversations/debates with Americans whenever I come over here. They have weird opinions about Africa, the Middle East, etc… they say things that aren’t overtly racist or prejudiced, but seem ignorant. I guess it’s just exposure! I guess I’m just hyper sensitive… I should just cool down ahhaaha.

  2. Wairimu

    The need for pride in Africa is because of the historical experiences. Colonialism has had a terrible effect in colonised areas. In Kenya, there is/was a great lack of pride in our culture, language, selves so inherent that people didn’t necessarily even realise it.

    Many ‘modern’ Kenyans shun their mother tongue in favour of English, Kiswahili or sheng, thinking it ‘backwards’ to speak or be proud of their mother tongue or culture. The only time ‘tribe’ is important seems to be when we’re using it as a weapon against others – a damn shame.

    So there is a need to emphasis that we have plenty to be proud of, and are capable of. That is the only way we’re going to change the course this continent has been on for the last odd 150 years.

    Kenyans think to see themsleves as more than oppressed people (external and internally), aid recipients, AIDS patients etc. Once we can easily think it, it’s easier to become it.

  3. valentine gwaze

    i would like to get in touch with black supremacy and talk about invitiing the sound crew to Zimbabwe for a couple of shows

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