The apology posted on Youtube last week shows a remorseful Beenie man pleading with the public to ignore his previous statements. During the 1 minute video clip the artist claimed:
“Please I am begging you do not have me up for some songs I wrote a long time ago. I love each and everyone and am just begging each and everyone to do the same.”
The artist goes on to express his respect for every human being “regardless of which race or creed, regardless of religious belief, regardless of which sexual preference you have,” he says, “including gay and lesbian.”
The statement comes after a series of high profile figures in the black music industry have come forward in support of gay equality, marking a possible shift in public opinion towards homosexuality in the black community.
Beenie man’s statements come shortly after rapper Jay-z came out this year in support of president Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage, claiming it too was “the right thing to do.” The Brooklyn rapper claimed, “What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love.”
Black culture over the years has gained an unfortunate reputation for entrenched homophobia with Jamaica and Nigeria in particular considered the “standard bearer of the homophobic mantle,” (Runnymede Bulletin 2011). Could it be that black culture is now growing to accept the differences posed by men and women of different sexualities?
NPL believes that this is the start of an exciting new era for the black LGBT community, as worldwide sexual health charities and events such as UK Black Pride continue to provide a greater visibility of LGBT individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds. As more black public figures own up to past mistakes and reveal a greater maturity surrounding sexuality and sexual attitudes, perhaps a time where being black and gay is entirely a non-issue is closer at hand then we think.