Azealia Banks is calling for slave reparations. The outspoken performer, who’s spent recent weeks feuding with Iggy Azalea over the appropriate of black culture, took to Twitter on Friday to discuss the issue, starting with a link to an article about the descendants of Mark Anthony DeWolf, a prominent Rhode Island slave trader in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Banks began by tweeting, “I wonder where the descendants of the ‘DeWolf’ family are today. they should all have their houses burned and their finances seized.” Then she tweeted directly at one of those descendants, James DeWolf Perry, who is involved in a new documentary about his family coming to terms with its ugly legacy, asking about his profits from the project. Perry replied, “Thanks for asking. No, I’m not making any money from documenting the DeWolf family’s slave trading past.”
Things escalated. Banks asked Perry, “Excuse me sir, but all the money you are making from documenting UR family’s history of slave trading… Are you giving it back?” Perry tried to explain that he was hoping to help educate Americans about the legacy of slavery, and that he personally does not still have wealth derived from the slave trade. “In my branch, they spent it in 1-2 generations, in the early 1800s. We then became ministers until very recently,” he told Banks. “I’m volunteering, not taking money.”
Banks tweeted, “This generation of young black kids needs to make a CONCERTED effort to seek out living descendants of major slave trading families… They Owe us Money.” She continued, “Jews and Native Americans all got reparations because they organized. Please don’t let my ‘beef’ with hip-hop distract from what we need… To be focusing on. We are owed MAJOR F*CKING BUCKS kids, MAJOR BUCKS.”
She then launched into a longer rant. Much of what follows was tweeted directly at Perry, and much of it to her followers. Throughout the exchange, Perry kept explaining that he was hoping to educate as many people as possible, including white people, about the horrible economic legacy of slavery and that he and Banks were in agreement on things. She disagreed:
Aetna, New York Life Insurance Company, and JP Morgan and Chase all have deep connections to the Slave trade, and are ….. Still holding on to that capital. They used the money they made from our flesh and blood to fund the Industrial revolution. Please please please do not get distracted with reality tv and rap music and fashion and all that other dumb sh*t. We are the children of the people who perished in the name of modern capitalism and we deserve a piece of that f*cking pie. I would give up my music career to fight for reparations. To even the score once and for all.
@JDeWPerry I would also like to know what your family did with all the money they made from the slave trade.. You guys had 47ships, correct?… what did you family do with all the money you made from slavery???? I need to know. Now. and please provide me with proof of you NOT making money off of documenting your family’s slave trading history… WHAT DID YOUR FAMILY DO WITH THE MONEY YOU MADE FROM SLAVERY… I DONT NEED YOUR CLUELESS WHITE OPINION HOW TO HEAL MY BLACK SOUL. I NEED MY MONEY.
@JDeWPerry I don’t believe you… so if you are volunteering, that must mean that you have some sort of money to live on. Where did this money come from? is that money you got from the family pot of riches amassed during slavery? What do you do for money? I want to know what you do for money. If you are volunteering ur time to ‘help’ black folk… How do you put food on your table?
@JDeWPerry why volunteering to chat about slavery?? You are simply reinforcing your whiteness by not REALLY addressing the problem at hand… well if you are trying to educate white people, why not prompt them to trace their own roots and see if there is a history of slavery… And if so, urge them to share that money and wealth with the black youth… You all have to PAY US MONEY.”
@JDeWPerry WHITE PEOPLE DONT NEED HELP. BLACK PEOPLE NEED HELP… generational poverty is a REAL thing.the black youth are still suffering greatly because of this. generational poverty is the NUMBER ONE reason African Americans are at such great a disadvantage today. Why Do u keep referring to white people? I am not talking about white people. I’mtalking about the people your family f*cked over… I think white men all need to be locked away in a psych ward… Considering the atrocities committed by white men ON THE WORLD.
@JDeWPerry you sound like a hypocrite. This is all about white folk to you. This is just another way for you guys to pretend to be sry… we don’t need educating. We need our money so we can go an educate OURSELVES, I’m tired of white mans version of history… because it is false and inaccurate. someone should kick your ass, and punch you right in your stupid smiling cracker face.
At this point, Banks stopped directing her tweets to Perry and began responding to individual followers on the reparations issue:
I never said we aren’t getting anywhere, I said there are disproportionate amounts of poor blacks to whites… and it’s nt because we are dumb, or incapable, its becaus these families and corporations have never given us what they owe… We need money so we can get the f*ck out of here before ISIS blows this sh*t up… We can’t let another generation pass without reparations… ITS MY MONEY, AND I WANT IT NOWWWWW!!!!!!… We have enough educated and intelligent persons among the race to do so. I need my f*cking money.
She also tweeted a number of stories about reparations to Holocaust survivors, the issue of reparations to Native Americans, the corporations who benefited from slavery, and associated matters. Banks is becoming quite the lightning rod on Twitter. Tell us what you think of her latest rant.