Akon speaks on Why Black Americans Will Not Come to Africa

Senegalese-born rapper based in the US Akon has shed some light on what many African Americans think of the African continent. Akon told Al Jazeera that a housing project in New York would be "a five-star hotel" compared to his homeland, Senegal. He added that "the system in America was never built for black people" and that African Americans should acknowledge "the rights... and the blessing they do, you know, have actual access to."

In this week's episode of Talk To Al Jazeera, which will be broadcast today, five-time Grammy nominee tells Folly Bah Thibault about the issues that affect African Americans saying. "I always felt like Africa was for Africans. So when I see African Americans in America dealing with all these issues, my first question is: 'Why don't they just go back home... Back to Africa.'"
Akon tells Folly, "In Africa, the way I grew up, let's just pick a [housing] project in New York, for instance: that's a five-star hotel compared to the environment I came up in... They actually get money from the government, there actually are programmes that help the impoverished and the poor, and you get food stamps. I mean, they have it good, compared to Africa, you follow... If these groups were to be taken from the environment where they are now to the same 'equal' environment in Africa, they would be crying to come back to America."
He says African Americans should put their challenges in perspective by visiting Africa as tourists. "How many African Americans do you know actually consider Africa as a vacation spot?... Even, just for knowledge, just to know where they came from, just to get an idea of what that is. There is so much fear instilled in them that they wouldn't even want to go there to visit. You mention Africa, they start shaking."

The Star

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