Things As “African” As Meryl Streep And Bill Clinton Are All Of A Sudden Claiming To Be » VSB

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Things As “African” As Meryl Streep And Bill Clinton Are All Of A Sudden Claiming To Be

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images


Sometime during an international film festival, in response to an inquiry about a quite caucasian jury being able to evaluate and understand North African films, Meryl Streep decided to go full hotep and inform us that “we’re all Africans really.”

That clink you hear is the sound of Lady Meryl officially falling off the list of “White Women That I Fux With (TM).” Previously excommunicated members include the likes of Tina Fey and Amy Schumer. There are also folks with a life time ban: see Handler, Chelsea.

At this point the only ones left are Dame Helen Mirren and Jojo — and even Jojo is on probation until she starts putting out music that I want to hear again.

And then, a couple days later, former Oval Office FreakFest organizer Bill Clinton shaped his mouth to say we’re all biracial. Which is technically true, I guess. The same way it’s technically true that cottage cheese is “food” and me and Serge were “hanging out together” last weekend because we both happened to be in New York City.

I don’t even have the slightest clue as to what in the Sankofa-imbued Rachel Dolezal hell either Meryl or Bill were sipping on that morning that convinced them their brands of pan-Africanism made even the slightest bit of sense, but it is far from the first time melanin-deficiencies haven’t served as a deterrent for them staying in their Motherland-ass lane before.

Take a gander at the following:

1. Jamie Oliver’s jollof rice recipe 

Jollof Rice is a West African one-pot staple. Simply stated, it is a big fucking deal. To the point that it is subject to regular debates on Twitter between who makes the recipe best. (The answer is Senegal by the way.) Paired with plantain, it is one of the purest expressions of love that exist within the Diaspora, which is why when the UK chef Jamie Oliver turned the following crowning glory into an abomination I damn near ate my foot:


I’ve spent the better part of my days trying to figure out what is going on here, but I’ve come up with less answers than Sway. All these additional herbs and spices, pieces of tomato instead of actually cooking it down in blended tomatoes and oil. No one asked for this! This is like when you go to someones Thanksgiving dinner and and the cook brings out tofurky. Just tell me you don’t like me!

2. Vacation cornrows with beads on them 

The fact that this is still a thing that Anglo-Saxons do will continue to befuddle me.


What part of duplicating a hairstyle that you see no adults around you wearing seems like a good idea? It’s the equivalent of me going to an authentic Chinese restaurant and ordering General Tso’s chicken. I’ve always wondered just how long they keep them in, as my interaction with White folks’ braids is mild amusement as we’re getting off the same flight. Do they keep them in through the weekend? Show them off to their friends at happy hour? Rock them at work? And why the beads? Who other than RG III puts beads at the ends of their hair past the age of 7? Somewhere on a beauty shop shelf, all the girls on a cover of a Just for Me Box are laughing at your beaded plaits.

3. Scented oils

If you’ve ever been on 125th street before 2007, you are guaranteed to have a detailed story of a personal interaction with any one of a plethora of “African scented oils” vendors. I’ve never not seen White people go out of their way to purchase these and take in their “authenticity.” I’m sorry to have to be the one to break it to you, but “African Black Love,”  “Blue Nile,” and “Ebony Musk” were more than likely made in a basement in Philadelphia.

4. Most “African Dance” classes

I’ve been dancing in a variety of capacities and companies for the majority of my brownskinned life, and I can count on one hand the amount of “introduction to (West) African dance” seminars that didn’t involve exaggerated pelvic movements and drum circles and high energy jumps. Few things are more off-putting than a lily-White instructor telling you that this is how “your people” traditionally move. I don’t tell you guys how you make specialty mayonnaises after all; let stick to our respective rivers and lakes.

5. Any artwork that was commissioned by Rachel Dolezal

To this day, I am utterly dumbfounded at the month-long phenomenon that was that alabaster spectacle from the Pacific Northwest. Is she still running a natural hair shop out of her house?

6Will Smith’s accent in Concussion 

I know Will Smith isn’t White but I need to take this moment to emphasize that Willard’s version of a Nigerian accent is an abomination and I rebuke in the name of my Lord and Savior, Amen. I’m sure the acting in the movie was otherwise great, but every time I see Will demanding that the NFL “tell di troof” I start violently shaking as I imagine the number of times he sat in front of a dialect coach to mimic an inflection that he still missed the mark on. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. By my estimation, Will was somewhere around 6250. He still gave an earnest effort though. 

(Honorable mention:The kente cloth stole that everyone got for Black commencement ceremonies at PWIs that most definitely had a “Made In China” label on the inseam.)   

Shamira Ibrahim

Shamira is a twentysomething New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her in waxing poetically about chicken, Cam'ron, and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at her semi-monthly blog,

    • DBoySlim

      This movie man. Smh.

      • Epsilonicus

        It was an incredible movie. Yet I have no desire to see it again.

        • Jennifer

          Never again. Add it to the list: Precious, 12 Years A Slave, Fruitvale Station, etc.

          • Bkmews

            Requiem for a Dream, City of God…

            • Ari

              City of God’s constant humor/dramatic license makes it much more palatable. Requiem though? Not so much.

        • DBoySlim

          Yeah. “You will be doing this thing for me”. The most disturbing line in the movie.

        • TeeChantel

          Yep. One and done.

        • I have completely blocked it out of my memory.

        • It’s funny, I watched the movie and though it was shocking how graphic it was, it didn’t phase me like most people. I think it’s partially because I’m fairly familiar with the History of the Biafra War in Nigeria and one of my boy’s father (Igbo) used to tell me stories about it growing up (it’s still kind of relevant and was trending on Twitter recently), plus I grew up reading about stuff like this in Nigeria all the time in the Northern part, where Bokoharam stems from.

          The images were graphic, but the stories were sadly familiar to me. I think it’s one of the redeeming and most frustrating things about growing up Nigerian and perhaps African to a lesser extent that Fela talks about in his song “Shuffering and Smiling”, you grow up seeing the absolute worse in human beings and yet still smile and remain optimistic about the future, perhaps if that optimism was lost, then the toleration for what Africa has been would be lost as well?

          • God Shammgod

            It didn’t affect me but I’m definitely over “African soldiers of war” narratives in general – even “realistic fiction” stories. It kind of troubled me that while never outright saying it, it unofficially associated the story with that of Ghana, which has never had a history of child soldiers. I know they’re claiming that its not implicating Ghana but they’re speaking Twi when they’re not speaking English.

            Generally speaking I just want more Africa + diasporic entertainment featuring us doing the same ish that we want for Blacks in the states. Loving, laughing, living, etc. Dramas that don’t require us to be warlords. Etc. It’s why I’m super into projects like “An African City” which has gotten a lot of attention lately.

            • I understand that, I’m also try not to be delusional as well.

              From what I read, they simply did it because they didn’t want to be accused of making a movie about another African country, and then have a whole bunch of inconsistencies pointed out. Plus, it’s not like white folks have any interest in Africa, outside of what fits the noble savage mindset, it’s the opposite in Africa, nobody in Africa is trying to see Moonshiners or Duck Dynasty. At the end of the day movies need funding, and if that wasn’t the case youtube would have replaced Hollywood by now.

              Not to mention, especially in Nigeria, and even Ghana to a lesser extent, there are well established media companies that selling English-speaking films that are pretty accessible to those outside the continent. There’s a whole ridiculous series of films in Nigeria which is a satire of Nigerians obsessions with Rihanna and Beyonce. A lot of times you just gotta know someone who knows or where to look.

        • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

          I’m trying to psyche myself up mentally…I want to see it but I know I’m going to be a fuming, angry, inconsolable curmudgeon for the next week and it’s not a good time for that cause I have a couple of irons in the fire.

        • Man i was tore up. Notice how in the intro song is all upbeat, kids rapping and the last song is just…somber. Like yes, you did just see all of that.

    • Dee Flyy

      maaaaaaaaaaan! you had me at ‘en heh’

  • Junegirl627

    In Will Smith’s Defense he said that he did what he thought was a better Nigerian Accent, but was told by the director that it was too thick and to tone it down so the audience can understand him

    • I would’ve preferred they do what they always do. Let the guy speak English with the Accent, and then just put the subtitles lol.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    At a minimum, I wish she had said this in a room full of folks that fail to put the LUCY’s bones and the Bible being in Africa to all the White folks that know this information and refuse to accept civilization started in Africa and Jesus looked more like me than the fair skinned, blue eyed, straight haired version seen in churches.

    I also wish there were a bunch of Hoteps there to grill her on the poor treatment shown to her brothers and sisters for centuries. I also find it interesting that We’re all Africans when you need to get out of a jam.

    • Oluseyi

      I also find it interesting that We’re all Africans when you need to get out of a jam.

      I mean, hasn’t this always been true? People get real friendly with blackness when they need an out.

    • In the words of the great prophet Phonte, they want all of the spoils and none of the toils.

  • RewindingtonMaximus

    Ever heard a White person try to mimic Leonardo Dicaprio’s accent in Blood Diamond?

    No? Good, because that means you haven’t shot someone before.

    • Jennifer


      • Guest

        I have worked for many white south african men. His accent was accurate. They were born there and cannot help the accent they were given, just like we cannot help the accent we have.


    (Honorable mention:The kente cloth stole that everyone got for Black commencement ceremonies at PWIs that most definitely had a “Made In China” label on the inseam.)
    I hollered and also did not wear one.

  • Cleojonz

    I took an African Dance class years ago with a friend of mine. It was taught by a black woman but we were the only people black and under 30 in the whole class. I was so confused.

    Wait! What did Amy Shumer do? I like her, don’t tell me I have to unlike her?

  • TJ

    I’m going to watch this jollof rice recipe. Jamie Oliver already makes my skin crawl, so this video might make me cause to call in sick tomorrow.

    I was reading reviews for Black soap on Amazon the other day. That too can be added to the ranks. Lol.

  • Courtney Wheeler

    “Previously excommunicated members include the likes of Tina Fey and Amy Schumer. There are also folks with a life time ban: see Handler, Chelsea.”

    I can’t stand those three….The. Worst.

    But Amy Poehler? I like her..she’s cool.

    • Ari

      After the Blue Ivy/R. Kelly joke about a joke, I just couldn’t with AP. And I am genuinely sad about that. I was rooting for her.

    • Jennifer

      Have y’all seen the “Your Fave Is Problematic” tumblr? The list is LONG!

      • Ari

        Read RuPaul’s and just died inside.

      • Val

        Wow, that is going to come in handy when folks ask for receipts. Thanks.

    • Quirlygirly

      I don’t know how anyone liked Amy Schumer in the first place. She always struck me as a person who had issues with black people

    • TeeChantel

      I like Chelsea Handler more than Tina Fey and Amy Schumer.

    • Eva_baby

      For me Tina Fey, Amy Schumer and Amy Poehler are all the same shade of problematic. They are white feminists who practice white feminism and get handed cookies and rainbows for it. But underneath they are all appalling in their racefail in places. I remember Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were given an issue of Entertainment Weekly to curate/edit. And it was full of “we are woman! Rawr!!!” but of course the women were all white. I have no time for them.

      and don’t even get me started on Amy Schumer and her ‘Latino men are rapists’ jokes and being all butt hurt because people found that offensive.

      • Mochasister

        It seems like many white feminists are solely concerned with white women. All other women can kick rocks. Amy Schumer made a joke about “Latino men are rapists” and had the nerve to not understand or care why people had a problem with it?!

      • Courtney Wheeler

        That’s my main pet peeve with entertainment/ white feminism.. These folks…Lena Dunham.. those Broad City essence they’re doing awesome things for women…but women only in their space. I do consider myself a feminist and when women of color do voice their concerns it’s either brushed aside or over-explained. I wish they can see that we can also share in the humor and not get patted on the head when we “don’t get the joke”

        That’s why women like Issa Raye is so important right now.

    • Asiyah

      Chelsea Handler is disgusting.

    • Leggy

      I actually don’t mind chelsea handler. She says the most problematic things but I feel like she’s the South Park of comedy. She’s jewish and she’s gotten so much sh it from Jewish organizations from the sh it she says about them too. I feel like she insults everyone pretty equally. I really tried to hate her but I somehow can’t. watched her show on netflix too and I quite enjoyed it.

      • Courtney Wheeler

        I just don’t find her funny…her book sucked. I dunno. I just think the whole “oh look i’m a white woman..i get drunk, suck C***, and I banged 50 cent.” it’s just not my thang.

  • htxgoodfella

    “So who wants to join me in the Harambee Salute? Anyone? Huey? Are you sure? It’s Kwanzaa…”

    • DBoySlim


    • brothaskeeper


  • Siante

    Gotta love how popular it is to be “African”……AFTER the abolition of slavery.

    • Mochasister

      Right. How nice to be Black without that nasty Black tax to go along with it. All of the glory and none of the pain.

      • Siante

        Yup, it’s kinda nice to be black without your ancestors having to endure slavery; without fear of your children getting shot by the police; without systemic oppression…….I could go on & on

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      You joke, but Africa is the Brooklyn of the 22nd Century. Just you watch.

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