Sep 23, 2016 11:01AM

Kelela Writes Woke Passage On White Privilege

"I think it's time for white people to own the about-face and complacency they are a part of every day."

Two more black men lost their lives at the hands of police this week under suspicious and downright horrific circumstances. 40-year-old Terence Crutcher was shot down by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma while standing beside his car unarmed, and Keith Lamont Scott was shot on suspicion of carrying a fire arm in Charlotte, North Carolina. As videos of these tragic events began to circulate, many black artists and activists once again felt the pressure to directly address their peers and white privilege.

R&B star and woke woman Kelela has shared one of the most on point messages in the wake of these events. Kelela posted a passage on her Instagram expressing her frustration with white privilege in relation to tramatic events, but also more generally.

"Tired of white people telling me what I should and shouldn't feel," Kelela opens. "People who are not black need to be listening (not talking or making suggestions) right now... When you talk before listening, you undermine the racism and hatred that we've experienced for years that would inform the solutions we've already come up with."

Kelela goes on to say that white people need to make a concerted effort to educate themselves — "Google 'white privilege' and learn about it," and "Go speak wit your friends who aren't black about what you've learned and how YOU will dismantle it". She also calls on all POCs to be more self-aware, writing: "It you are a person of colour it's time to wake the fuck up and get that this attack on black people (throughout the world for centuries) has always and will continue to turn into an attack on you."

Kelela finishes by emphasising that the burden to solve racism rests on the shoulders of white people:

"I think it's time for white people to own the about-face and complacency they are a part of every day. One of my mentors (that happens to be white) once said that racism isn't POC's problem to solve. That if we want white supremacy to be over, white people would have to give up the power/privilege." True facts. 

Read her important message in full below:


Over it

A photo posted by KELELA (@kelelam) on


Over it Pt. 2

A photo posted by KELELA (@kelelam) on


For more woke words from Kelela, you can read about her thoughts on 'The Intersections Of Identity, Gender, Sexuality & Ethnicity' from Oyster #108.

Photo: Rene Vaile

Lucy Jones