Monday, May 23, 2011

Kwame Kwei-Armah on multicultural Britain

Black British actor, playwright and director Kwame Kwei Armah is featured by the British Foreign Office to mark two years to go until London 2012.

In a film Kwame Kwei-Armah discusses why he believes the UK is now the centre of the Black diaspora world and how it’s a country of diverse cultures.

The film is one of the ‘See Britain through my eyes,’ series featuring individuals from home and abroad talking about their experiences of modern Britain in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Watch the film below.

In the film Kwame talks about a television series he presented for Channel 4 in 2009, where he re-created the Queen’s 1953/54 tour of the Commonwealth. Kwame discovered that many people across the Commonwealth still thought that the makeup of British society was much like it was in the 1950s as opposed to the diverse, modern nation it is today. Kwame was glad he was chosen to front the programme as he was able to personally vouch for the UK’s multiculturalism.

Kwame also discusses how proud he is of the progress Britain has made in reducing inequality in society. He thinks Britain today is a tolerant country, comfortable in its own skin, where tradition and modernity can co-exist.

Kwame Kwei-Armah is a celebrated actor, playwright and director both in the UK and overseas. He recently served as Artistic Director of the World festival of black arts and culture in Senegal and has just been appointed Artistic Director of Centerstage Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland.

He was born in London as Ian Roberts. He changed his name in his early twenties after tracing his family history (through the slave trade) to his ancestral roots in Ghana. His parents were born in Grenada, then a British colony and moved to the UK in the 1960s.

The film launch coincides with the thirtieth anniversary of the Tricycle Theatre in London where Kwame has staged many of his productions. The theatre has a strong reputation for hosting plays that reflect the cultural diversity of Britain and not afraid to tackle contemporary issues and events head on.

Kwame first found fame as an actor in the popular BBC hospital drama ‘Casualty.’ He became the first Black Briton to stage a play in London’s West End when his award winning piece ‘Elmina’s Kitchen transferred to the Garrick Theatre in 2005.’

Kwame Kwei-Armah is a celebrated British actor, playwright and director both in the UK and overseas. He recently served as Artistic Director of the World festival of black arts and culture in Senegal and has just been appointed Artistic Director of Centerstage Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland.


  1. Armah makes some salient points..however, the idea "Britain" as the cultural leader of the Diaspora is mistaken...

  2. Exactly. Britain isn't the cultural leader of anything. Plus, black diaspora are in free countries that have no monarchies. As if we'd listen to a country with a queen.

    And this guy is completely full of himself too. I don't see too many black Americans or black Brazilians or black Canadians aching to go to the UK.

    No self-respecting black man would make a documentary of the queen. I forgot, though, he's African. Maybe he still has that colonial mentality.

    What have the Africans from the UK created that worth traveling there for? Right. Nothing.

    If any country in the west is going to be a center for black diaspora, it's going to have to be a country blacks helped to build. Whether it's America or Canada or Jamaica or Brazil. It is NOT the UK. That's a white country. Armah and the Africans in the UK are spectators.

  3. @truth2010. Blacks helped to build the UK too, France too, Holland too, Belgium too, ... all colonial powers gained from slavery and colonialism. The wealth that the slaves generated thanks to their free labor contributed to the forming of what is Europe since the 15th century (so since the Reconquista, Renaissance, Enlightment, way before the French Revolution, etc.). The difference between the Americas and Europe on this point is geography. Internal colonialism and slavery was the rule in the Americas. External colonialism and slavery was the rule for Europe.
    Besides, Kwame Kwei-Armah is not African, he's a Briton and his parents were born on the Carribean island of Granada (his birth name was Ian Roberts). Of course he's of AfroCarribean descent and thus also of African descent, just like you. However this origin is 5 centuries old, while recent African immigrants are much more 'really African'. But don't fool yourself, second and third generations of 'direct' African descent are home in Europe, and there is solidarity, sympathy and intermingling between blacks of all origins living in the European urban centers. Defining people and their identity on their ethnic and cultural origin always gives a limited perspective of reality. The picture is oh so much more complex.
    And yes, Kwame Kwei-Armah gives a way to positive and bright perspective on the multicultural society in the UK. It’s also much more complex than his point of view. But then, there is so much negativity and pessimism coming from the political establishment that such a words are like a breath of fresh air. I therefore say, “Thanks Kwame, thanks for bringing some positive vibes.”

  4. Anonymous said...
    Well, does anyone know what the Africans created in the UK? Jamaicans made reggae and terrific food. Brazilians "pretos" created world renowned martial arts and the best soccer player ever. Black Americans made world-class music and culture studied the world over at top universities around the world.

    And what have Africans in the UK or France or Holland made?

    The blog owner can delete my first comment. Sorry for the spelling errors.

  5. Strictly speaking the English-speaking Caribbean was British and therefore everything created there by slaves and their descendants enriched British culture. History is written by slave masters, not slaves, and there was no way out of these islands excepts as maroons in the mountains. So geographically speaking it was nearly impossible for the British slaves to leave the plantation and emancipate within British culture else where. The same is true for the French and Dutch colonial worlds. This doesn't man that blacks didn't create anything relevant.
    But OK, you want to ignore colonial history and only speak of the geographical entity of the British Isles or the European territory as such. Of course there were very few black people there before the second world war. But may I include all wars the Europeans had? Blacks have contributed a lot to all wars fought, in Europe since the French Revolution, they were mostly cannon fodder (some got higher ranks such as the Chevalier de Saint George and Dumas Père in France), but still ... that's also a part of European history right? Or is cannon fodder not included?
    Of course history has been written by the whites so we don't have that many sources giving the black perspectives (that's what this blog is working on right now).
    However, considering the recent mass presence of blacks in the UK, what did they contribute? If you stick to culture and sports as you state above I can state a few things: ska music, jungle, drum & bass, trip hop, dubstep, grime, funky breaks, garage ... merely all the freshest recent musical evolutions come from the blackest parts of the UK. All newest evolutions within hip hop music and dance found there source in the UK, often to be elaborated and commercialized in the US. Furthermore: dub poetry (John Agard, Linton Kwesi Johnson). Sports? we all know Beckham is white but often sport stars from the UK are black: LInford Christie, Colin Jackson, Lewis Hamilton, just to state some very different types.
    Even if I'd go back in the past, when there were very few blacks in the UK: George Bridgewater and Coleridge-Taylor both contributed heavely to modernizing classical music, besides Elaudah Equiano, Ukawsaw Gronniosaw and Ignacio Sancho were important abolitionists, William Chartist was a leading labor activist, William Davidson was an influencial political activist, All people who were living on British soil in the past centuries.
    But it's easier to find influencial and notable blacks in recent European history. It would be to exhaustive to put this in the comment, just check wiki are so, you'll be surprised.
    Some more names popping in my head (just the UK, but the same thing can be done for Holland or France)
    ART: Steve McQueen
    BEAUTY: Naomi Campbell
    MUSIC: Sade, Shirley Bassey, Carl Cox, Billy Ocean, Courtney Pine, Seal, Corrine Bailey Rae, Dizzee Rascal, Steel Pulse, Musical Youth, Tricky, Massive Attack, Beverly Knight ...
    ACTING: Forrest Whitaker, Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor

  6. Christie, Jackson and Hamilton... who? WOW. No black American likes or respects car racing. There's a running joke here that car racing was created by whites so they could have a sport blacks weren't interested in and wouldn't dominate. So, Hamilton has no name value here in the states.

    Dubstep, trip-hop are rip offs of black American music. And they're crap "music types." CRAP. I hope you're not pulling a Sanza... you know taking credit for other people's culture?

    Sade makes black American music. Where's that African music? She after all is African.

    Trip-hop, grime and all that other copy-cat junk is crap. That's why I don't fault Amy Winehouse. Africans are a lot of times WORSE than even the white imitators of black American culture. Corine Bailey Rae is PURE garbage. PURE GARBAGE. But I bet you she gets a lot of attention there since I guess she's similar to black Americans, according to ignorant whites. Dizzee Rascal is crap too. I'm still trying to figure out what planet he was born on. He doesn't look like anything from this world. Seal too.

    Forrest Whitaker is American. Billy Ocean is from Trinidad which is NOT the UK. Sade is good... probably the only one on the list you gave me. But Sade was also born in Nigeria. And what I said earlier is that she makes black American music. So, even she isn't exactly a UK product.

    Idris Elba is still making a name for himself.

    The rest, I haven't even heard of.

  7. Oh, and Ska music was created IN JAMAICA, NOT the UK. So, please don't claim Jamaicans' music either. It makes you look desperate.

    I've already seen on here jazz and soul be called African because "slaves created it" yet there were NO slaves in the 1920's when it was created in America.

    It seems like people want to believe whatever makes them feel good even when facts prove otherwise. I'm going to tell my brother's Jamaican girlfriend that I heard ska music being labelled by an African as British music. I can't wait to see her reaction.

    Making up "facts" isn't intelligent dialogue.

    And nothing Dizzee Rascal does has ANY commercial value here. That's why he's stuck there. Rap message boards always post his videos just to laugh at him. He's pathetic.

  8. 'You can't hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree'

    you must heal yourself Truth

  9. Any more nonsensical statements today Sanza? It isn't just you that claims other people's cultures.

    I have NEVER heard a black American claim reggae the way I have heard Africans claim Jamaican and black American culture on here.

    I guess you believe whatever makes you feel good, no matter how foolish it sounds.

  10. Sade is mixed race so she's just as much Nigerian as British.
    Ska is indeed jamaican, but got very popular in the UK
    Forrest Whitaker is indeed American
    so many mistakes there ...
    But what you think is crap is thus objectve crap, wow, you are soooo powerful man
    And the names you don't know apparently are also people who do not exist or have never existed, waaow

    Anyway, truth2010, in your worldview every people has its homecountry and should stay there forever. in your perfect world there would still be Indians in America, but you can deal with imgration in modern America. Europe though, should stay white. let's turn back the clock, have some genocides and displacements, all for the benefit of a better world as truth 2010 sees it. So sad! I should kill myself, and Sade
    And calling Tricky crap hurts my feelings man ,so Goldie, Fabio, Ms Dynamite, Congo Natty ... all crap? oh God, I have to cry!!

  11. And all Jews should be in Israel too. As not to confuse truth2010 to much about who has a certain identity, culture or nationality. Afterwards, when all people live in their country everybody should stay where they were born. And mixed relationships? Please, prohibit that stuff, as not to confuse poor souls like truth2010 who wouldn't know how to handle this. Africans belong in Africa, whites in Europe. A beautiful world order with a big fence in the Sahara!

  12. I never said any of that ^^^^.

    All I asked was is what have Africans in Britain done for Kwame to say that London or the UK is the center of black diaspora?

    All the answers I have gotten so far include Africans in the UK claiming Jamaican and black American music and culture. It's not even the real thing nor done by people from the home country, so why claim it? I wish there were Jamaicans that this. Someone above claimed Ska as a British invention. So pathetic.

    It makes them look desperate claiming culture that isn't their own.

    Also, what is funny in the video is that Kwame CAN'T NAME ANYTHING NOTABLE MADE BY AFRICANS IN THE UK. He said, "you can go from London to Manchester [to see things made by Africans]... you can do... (pause)... there's everything to do!" He says this while looking up at God, begging him to help name something Africans have done there. Even God had to say to Kwame "you're on your own." Watch that part. It's at the end of the video. He just couldn't name ONE African English contribution. Kind of sad.

    I'm sure even the most racist white American can name something black Americans have created and exported around the world.

    I openly admit. I don't know much about Africans living in the UK. So, I ask honestly, what have Africans in England created culturally?

  13. That's funny too that Sanza posted a Malcolm X quote. He's one of my heroes. However, he was a huge self-hater. This must mean that Sanza doesn't know too much about Malcolm X. I have read his autobiography.

    He hated himself so much because he was a quarter white. His mom was raped by a white man and married an African to try to get the white out of her children. Malcolm X picked up on her self hate before he learned to follow Islam.

  14. @truth2010 it's true about the ska music example and also about Forrest Whitaker. That's claiming things British while they are NOT. But the anonymous post above is not a total falacy because of these two mistakes. I think that the geographical argument stands.
    There is much more written there than just ska I think. And while Corinne B R is crap, I think we can leave the rest to personal taste. It doesn't mean that George Bridgewater, Coleridge-Taylor, Elaudah Equiano, Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, Ignacio Sancho, William Chartist, William Davidson (all before the 20th century) and Steve McQueen, Sade, Shirley Bassey, Carl Cox, Billy Ocean, Courtney Pine, Seal, Dizzee Rascal, Steel Pulse, Musical Youth, Tricky, Massive Attack, Beverly Knight ... are ALL CRAP and didn't contribute much to the UK.
    I also think that when Kwame speaks of 'Africans' he just means all people of African descent, all blacks including himself. He having changed his name reflects that attitude I think. It gives a cultural meaning to a racial label.

  15. On the SADE reaction:
    It's not because artists make music inspired by other cultures that they are not authentic anymore; music and art is a constant dialogue between cultures. That's what makes culture and art interesting.
    French hip hop is French even if it was/is very much inspired by African American rap. Would you tell all these French youth that the culture they are living for day and night is not French, its African American? Would you say to IAM, NTM, Ideal J, ... that they are not making French culture while all young French agree on the fact that the music is theirs, it's local, it's home grown? If not (as you argue Sade is not contributing to British culture because making african american music), you sound like an old conservative white Frenchman who hates the fact that youth of Arab descent and blacks are becoming the majority of French urban populations. But hey, that's your right. PEACE!

  16. Again why the hell are you here on a blog called AFRO EUROPE since you don't consider yourself AFRO and consider America as your country. if you have nothing to do with Africa then why are you on this blog who gathered african descent people leaving in europe since you say you're not a part of them???? Ask yourself what's wrong with you. LOL It is not Malcolm mother BUT Malcolm grand-mother who had been raped by whites. like i sadi before you are very ignorant and don't even understand the things you read. How can you say he was a self-hater because he said he hated the way some white blood was put through his veins? what about what he said about the tree and his roots? doesnt make sense to you self-hating brain right? I don't know how old you are, probably very young (I hope so!)but it is more than urgent for you to heal yourself. and by the way, read about what African descent people from the Americas, the Carribean and Africa have written about what bind us and our common history. just google it or I can help and give some names if you want, but I guess you won't...

  17. P.S.: oh and Malcolm X father was an African American GARVEYISTE

  18. I can't be bothered to read all the comments here but at the person who said what have Africans created he is a fool, Reggae is African music it uses the same beat patterns, and if you know your history you know that rap was created by Kool Herc who came from Jamacia not America same with Capoeira in Brazil, it is African all the happen was Jamacians and Brazilians copied it and it was called Jamacian music, Brazilian martial art, the drums used to scare the slave master at night, even rastas wearing dreadlocks comes from the Mau Mau people of Kenya, you damnn fool. Black people have been in the UK since the 1960s, black people have been in the US for over 300 years that's a big difference

  19. I love it,black Americans fighting, black british, reminds me of when slaves used to fight over who had the better, crueler, wealthier slavemaster

  20. Oh said it!!! Really there should be no argument. We are all Black and it shouldn't matter what part of the world we come from. Because we all have something to offer one another. As A Black American i have no issue with Blacks in Europe or anywhere else. I look at them as an extension of who i am. And i know all about Sade, Shirley Bassey, Carl Cox, Billy Ocean, Courtney Pine, Seal, Corrine Bailey Rae, Dizzee Rascal, Steel Pulse, Musical Youth, Tricky, Massive Attack, Beverly Knight , Nate James, Lemar, Chipmonk ,Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Naomi Campbell, Trevor Nelson, Gemma, Ace & Vis and the list goes on. The discussion shouldn't be about how different we are because we really aren't that different at all. I have many friends from the UK and the only difference i see that is noticeable is when they! Or when i speak! Blacks as people have always brought many things to every place they live. Now do we always get credit for what we achieve or bring to any country we live!!! So let’s embrace each other’s cultural differences, I tell you we can learn so much from each. Because when all is said and done we are all brothers and sisters!!!!!!!!!


  21. Oh i do think Kwame Kwei-Armah has blinders on. In a perfect world this would be true. But from visiting the UK many times there is no way the UK is so accepting of Blacks. So he speaks with a fools tongue.


  22. Thank you Chico-Rei and Kevin!!!!

  23. Hey Sanza i just don't like when we fight against each other. Let’s find a cause we can fight together. We have this kind of behavior going on everyday in our own lives. The world is set up for us to be against each other from way before we were born. And that same kind of mentality has resonated into our lives today. We have to be smarter than that and come together. This should be a place where we can share and learn from each other. I love Afro Europe i read it every day and believe it or not i have learned a lot from this site.


  24. Completely agree with you Kevin; I just can't stand and understand why some people like Truth2010 try to put so much division between us. We can share our different views but i don't want to let self-hatred and ignorance being spread here.

  25. Yes but you can't change how some people think. So many of OUR people look at themselves as being so smart. That they forget the things that are important. But with this kind of dialog maybe we can enlighten some. So let’s keep the positive conversation going,...ok!


  26. Anonymous: How is Sade contributing to British culture when she's a) from Nigeria b) not making British music? AND most of her fans aren't even in Britain?

  27. Malcolm X was a big racist before he started following mainstream Islam. I have read his biography.

    Why don't you quote some Africans instead of quoting black Americans? Don't you have African role models like Chinua Achebe or Nelson Mandela? You're doing the same thing racist whites here do when they group minorities all together. Believe it or not, dark skinned people have different cultures and histories.

    You're still being silly. You said I shouldn't respond here because this thread is for Africans in Europe. Well, if that's the way you think, please get off this board because Google owns BlogSpot and Google is an American web site.

    That's how stupid your arguments are including calling soul music African because slaves made it. The problem is, there were no slaves in the 1920's when soul was created. You're being foolish.

    Brush up on your history. And more importantly, be proud of being African. And stop taking and claiming people's culture.

  28. Chico-rei, I'm not fighting. I asked what have Africans in England done to make it the center of black diaspora.

    It was a foolhardy statement by Kwame. He couldn't even name anything in the video. And for an African to make a video about Queen Elizabeth, it goes to show what's going on in his head. He's compensating for something. He even changed his name to an African name which sounds like a charitable act, but it's cloaked in insecurity.

    Sanza and a few others are claiming Jamaica and black American culture when I specifically asked what have Africans done in England?

    Shoot me for pointing out where they're wrong?

  29. LMAO Sanza. You're doing the same thing as racist whites here. Grouping dark skinned people together. There are differences! Most Africans are Muslims and 2% of black Americans are Muslim. That's just one of the many differences.

    It's not self hatred, it's acknowledging we all have our own history. As a black American, I feel a strong bond to black Canadians, Jamaicans and Brazilians. Yet, I DON'T CLAIM THEIR CULTURES. I KNOW THEY HAVE THEIR OWN HISTORIES, CUISINES, MUSIC AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THEIR COUNTRIES. And when they're proud about it, I don't call it self hatred!

    I also don't claim Jamaican music as mine. Nor do I call Brazilian martial arts a black American creation. I don't call Pele a black American either. It's THEIRS! I'm happy for them. Blacks in the Americas, from Brazil to Cuba to Canada have a common history. We're family!

  30. @truth2011

    I'm sorry but you talk alot on what you don't know.

    I answered your questions but it was taken off. Kwame is saying it is the centre of the black diaspora because you have Aficans and caribs all mixing in the UK,alongside other races, in the main cities it's crazy, and they all influence each other, in the US you are just called American here you aren't if you parents are Nigerians you are still called Nigerian and the culture is strong as they all have strong ties to their history and culture, so you have people from the Caribs learning off Africans and vice versa.

    I live in Madrid now and the only english speakers are Americans no offense but alot of you guys have no knowledge of Africa at all apart from thinking it's all poor, or it's one country, lets go to Africa they say where in Africa it's a big place, people in the UK know the difference because they are confronted with these people on a day to day basis. The point what have Africans done in the UK for you to say that is not even a point, do they have to have done anything? apart from come to UK, black people have been in the Caribs for roughly 300 years same in the US black people have been in the UK from about 1960 and that was Caribs not Africans.

    I'm a second generation African same with alot of my friends, come back and say this in 20 years. Things will be very different.

    You have Tinie Tempah, Idris Elba, Tinchy Stryder, Kojo, Lethal B, Alex Amosu is a millionare and helps black businesses what you will find is Africans are setting up alot of businesses in the UK.

    Have you actually been to the UK to places in London like Hackney, Brixton truth2011?

    oh yeh and Blacks all over the world are brothers not just in the Americas, Pele doesn't represent black people, go ask Brazilians and Dominicans if they are your brother because they are black they will look at you and say I'm not black I'm latino.

  31. That sounds no different than New York. Jamaicans retain their identities as do Africans coming here. That's the same as London. That's not a good enough reason to call something a "center of black diaspora" as there are too many cities that have many blacks and Africans in it.

    More importantly, I have asked what have Africans done in the UK to make it the center of black diaspora? Having different ethnic groups doesn't make it unique. There are many big and diverse cities.

    And talk about not knowing things, blacks have been in the Americas for a little under 500 (FIVE hundred) years, not 300 years.

    That's funny you bring up Idris Elba. He was so frustrated with the lack of opportunities in the UK that he came to America. How's that for the "center of black diaspora"?

    I have never been to the UK. I have never had a reason to be there, besides maybe as a stopping point to France or Italy.

    And you're right about Latinos. Some latinos are black and they have their own histories. I don't claim them like Sanza does. We do have shared history though as descendants of slaves. That's why I consider them brothers. And, I'd go to Miami and talk with black Cubans and Venezuelans. Ask them their race (latino isn't a race) and if they have solidarity with black Americans. Most will say yes.

    Tinie Tempah and Stryder are pathetic rappers. They're not even doing African culture. They're badly imitating black American culture and they're doing it badly. The thing is whites in the UK that don't know better think that's good music and "real rap." Far from it. So, I'll ask again, what have Africans in England created culturally?

    Sanza dissed Amy Winehouse for being white and making black American music. Winehouse is better than Corine Bailey Rae and Rae has a black father. According to Sanza, Rae's ancestry makes soul music her music despite not being a black American. Well, Winehouse must be a secret black American because her music is better and more representative of black American music than Rae's.

    PS: You're wrong again. You and Sanza think that blacks and Africans are one people just like you said Americans think Africa is one country. It's convenient ignorance. Seriously, how do you go from criticizing Americans' ignorance on Africa and then saying black people and Africans are the same? It's the same ignorance.

    I might look like a Brazilian and have ancestors that were slaves like Brazilians, but I am NOT a Brazilian.

  32. Some knowledge here
    Africans came to the Americas long before slavery:

    Africans in early Europe:

    roots of the ancient greek civilization:

    Ancient and modern egypt:

    We have given huge contribution to this world and still do.

    this one is for the internet 'theory'
    a Nigerian father of the internet:


  34. @truth2011

    Until you come to the UK, you really have no room to comment, saying blacks have been in the US for 500 years enhances my point even more, Africans have been in the UK for roughly 30 years, that's a huge difference.

    Tinie Tempah copying US music, dude are you serious, pass out sounds nothing like US music, you don't like Tinie Tempah and Stryder because you don't understand the music because it is UK music not copying US music it sounds like UK music which it is. Grime is nothing like US music though you had Timbaland one of the biggest US producers coming over and copying true story. How does this song sound anything like US music

    In the US if you are black you are classed as African American which is why the Dominicans and Africans fight so hard to seperate because they don't want to be seen as African American, in the UK if your parents are Nigerians, they still class you as Nigerian.

    There are more opportunties for black people in the US because you have been there longer and there is more black Americans than Black British. I nver believed them but you are proving my point.

    The UK is a black diaspora because you find black people from every country in Africa and the caribs here for such a small island that something special, to be even compared to the US which is something like 100 times the size of the UK is amazing.

    Blacks and Africans aren't all one people, where did I say they are one people, point it out to me. I said I see black people all over the world as family not one people, dude Nigeria isn't even one country there are too many countries for me to say that

  35. You said you see black people all over the world as brothers. How is that different than Americans seeing Africa as a country? Not much.

    Ok, America is bigger than the UK. Well, what about France? There are Africans and blacks from the Americas in France. How is the UK more the home of black diaspora then? France gave Josephine Baker, a black American, a state funeral. The only colored woman to receive a French state funeral. If there was a country that could claim Jazz outside of America, it would be France. They took in many black Americans who left after World War I. Go google how fondly the French think of black Americans to this day.

    Also, why did Idris Elba leave continents and countries to find better career opportunities? He was in the home of black diaspora right?

    Let me tell you about rap. Go to WorldStarHipHop. It's a black American rap board. They post UK videos, especially Dizzee Rascal's videos, just to laugh at the music. It's a joke. It isn't serious. There are better WHITE rappers who just started rapping here than Dizzee Rascal. Tinie Tempah is a joke. He'd never last here, the home of hip hop and rap. I think you're defending him just because you don't know better music. If you were a black American you'd never defend that crap.

    It's the same thing with Sean Paul. Whites in America think he does reggae. Jamaicans know better. Black Americans just laugh at hip-hop overseas. The Japanese are the worst by far. But the UK and French are right up there too.

  36. @truth2011

    I like the discussion but.... you really don't get it. The hiphop in the UK isn't that good, but Tinnie Tempah and stryder, Dizzie and Wiley aren't doing Hiphop they are doing grime which is UK music, just like UK garage, and Drum & Bass music which big US producers come over and copy.

    I know Sean Paul doesn't do Reggae I'm from the UK which is full of Jamaicans, you forget the UK is the place where Lover's Rock started.

    Dude look on a map at the size of England not the UK England then look at the size of France, why was Josephine Baker in France? because it was more liberal than the US. I am not claiming the UK is the centre of the black diaspora, I am just explaining to you why Kwame said it.

    Idris Elba went to the US because there are more opportunities there, because you have established more things for black people, because you have been there for 500 years, my friend is a black actor here and is thinking of doing the same thing.

    Personally I can't compare the US to the UK because I have never been to the US and I'm not arrogant enough to think I know about the US just from watching T.V or passing through on my way to Canada what I see on T.V is another person's vision of the U.S.

    Seeing black people all over the world as brothers is nothing like saying Africa is one, are you serious, in Nigerian alone you have three main tribes who until the British put together as one country were living seperatly which is one of the reasons for fighting in Nigeria, we are brothers because we are united in our struggle against imperialism and have more similarites than differences look at Caribs the people are so similar in culture wheter the Island is English or Spanish speaking yet those Islands are hours apart and slaves from all over West Africa went there.

    Look at white people they don't see each other as brothers English people don't like Scottish people etc but I bet if they were attacked by a diiferent race like say arabs watch how quick they would put their differences aside to fight the common enemy because they see themselves as brothers, this is the reason white people rule and black people don't, they perfromed divide and rule on us and it still exists today, that is why we are at the bottom of the pile, fighting amongst ourselves arguing back and forth over the internet over something petite like a guy saying a country is the cntre of the black diaspora, like.... who cares

  37. Chico-rei, you said it yourself. We, black Americans, have been here much longer than Africans in the UK. So you can't compare the two. I agree. Kwame should have never called it the center of black diaspora for the reason you said and because the UK has many Africans and children of Africans that aren't really rooted there. Black Brazilians, Jamicans, Black Americans, Black Canadians, Black Cubans and so on are rooted too far into our countries. It really is like comparing apples to oranges.

    Kwame was a fool for making such an outlandish statement. Like I said earlier, it was so funny seeing him trip over himself trying to name an African contribution to London and Manchester. I'm sure there are some, but if you're doing a video about a topic, research your topic before making the video.


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