The Black Glitterati And Its Purpose

Black Like Mao
4 min readNov 1, 2022


Kanye West, minstrel extraordinaire

The New Afrikan nation is known around the world for its excellence in the fields of music, acting, and sports. People in South Korea love Kanye West, Beyoncé is known in the furthest reaches of the Himalaya mountains, and Jay-Z is bumped in Melbourne. We should be proud of our contributions to the collective heritage of humanity, particularly in the fields of culture and sports. However, when we are speaking of politics, the struggle for land and liberty on a socialist basis, we should be very clear that our cultural tastemakers and sports players are not our leadership. Once again, we must look to the class struggle and the role that these individuals play in derailing our struggle, dragging it back down the long trod road of reformism and electoralism, and in the most extreme cases (Ye) becoming vessels of reaction and crypto-fascism.

I am by no means a psychiatrist and I loathe the habit of Twitter-diagnosing individuals with a variety of mental illnesses, as it cheapens the struggles of comrades with these conditions, but it is patently clear that there is something seriously wrong with Ye. For a Black person to wear what he wore with Candace Owens and then issue a reactionary screed against Jewish people is the lowest depth of reaction and all New Afrikan revolutionaries have the duty to respond to this minstrelsy and appeal to the most reactionary of settlers with universal scorn. Even more troubling is the fact that New Afrikan people all over the internet are adamantly defending Ye. This has been a problem of longstanding.

Celebrities of all types serve a purpose. If they are allowed to succeed under capitalism and flaunt their multimillions and billions, they are firmly ideologically rooted in the darkest reaction. The simple fact is that there is no such thing as a “pro-people” billionaire. For one to become a billionaire and join the ranks of the multiracial, cosmopolitan bourgeoisie is to turn your back on the masses of the world. Beyonce’s billions do not derive simply from her talent as a musician and performer, but the near enslavement of Sri Lankan women workers, proletarians, who make the clothes that she peddles. No amount of penny-ante donations to bail funds or community social work projects can erase the fact that they are on the wrong side of the primary contradiction simply by their amassing large amounts of other people’s wealth and value in their hands.

The ideological role of celebrity under capitalism is to befuddle and confuse the masses, serve as capitalist examples to youth, and promote individualism and anti-proletarian, anti-masses attitudes. The degeneration of our most cherished artform, hip-hop, from a revolutionary tool representing the aspirations of those occupying the deepest depths of the proletariat, to a drug addled, hedonistic mess, is just one example. Gone are the days of Kool Moe Dee enjoining young New Afrikans to avoid prison and Queen Latifah expressing her confidence as a proud New Afrikan woman, here are the days of percocet, molly, percocet. In the midst of an opioid epidemic that is wiping out youth and elders of all races, here we have the most popular music form glorifying the wanton consumption of these substances. We see constant spats between these celebrities over trifling things, hateful and spiteful behavior, violence, pettiness, and all sorts of anti-people behavior, and many people seek to emulate it.

What happens when a celebrity expresses even a modicum of revolutionary or even progressive sentiment that is not approved by their richer handlers nowadays? Obscurity, scorn and harassment. Colin Kaepernick took a knee and ended up a pariah. Some may ask whether Ye qualifies as a revolutionary and is being punished because of it, no, he doesn’t and isn’t. His reactionary sentiment and habitual “acting-up” have proven untenable to the industries through which he has made his money and as a result he is being cut loose as an embarrassment. Another revolutionary who used their fame for the people’s cause was Jean Seberg, who stood with the Black Panther Party and as a result was the victim of a merciless smear campaign ginned up by the FBI and eventually ended up committing suicide. Black musicians performed benefit concerts for the Black Panther Party, and they ended up losing money and being harassed by the FBI, along with receiving bags and bags of hate mail. None of that pressure is being applied to this generation’s “woke celebrities” because their “wokeness” is really rocking the masses to sleep. Faux-progressiveness and even faux-revolution is allowable, provided you don’t actually take it seriously. You can dress up as a Black Panther cadre, provided your bullets are blanks. You can talk like Malcolm, but you better speak only of the ballot, not the bullet. You can talk about social ills caused by capitalism, but you better steer the donations towards the government approved NGOs.

In short, celebrities exist to fool you and offer you a gilded prison as an aspiration. Strive for freedom through revolution.