Snoh Aalegra & Black Men: Appreciation or Fetishization?
Updated: Mar 28, 2020
Arguably, one of the best R&B albums of 2019, “- Ugh, those feels again” was released on August 16 as Snoh Aalegra’s sophomore album. The 14-track album is the sequel to her full-length debut album, “FEELS,” released in 2017.
Today, Dec. 13, Snoh Aalegra dropped her music video for the 4th track on her latest album, “Whoa,” starring Michael B. Jordan. The music video was one of many that featured Black male love interests.
Given the context of Michael B. Jordan’s already complicated relationship with Black women; the black-ass origin of R&B; and artists like Sabrina Claudio and Bhad Bhabie who appropriate our culture and then bash Black women; the idea that Snoh Aalegra may be profiting off African-American culture and aesthetics is not very far-fetched.
Leave it to Black Twitter to conduct a full investigation on the newly-controversial artist. A Black Twitter dug up a 3-year-old tweet where Snoh Aalegra used the n-word in reference to Sevn Thomas.
This screenshot then sparked a debate: Is Snoh Aalegra Black?
According to the artist herself, "her dad was dark and had an afro." We cannot deny the existence of Afro-Iranians, but the response seems intentionally indirect.
Aalegra has also opened for Daniel Caeser, who has not been on the best of terms with Black Twitter since the questionable statements he made on IG live earlier this year.
As a Black woman, I find myself constantly frustrated by the ease with which white people and non-black people of color are able to navigate and thrive in Black spaces.
And maybe Snoh Aalegra is Black. Or maybe she really does just love Black men; however, my primary concern is always going to be the root of the preference. Does it stem from the fetishization of Black men?
Where does appreciation end and fetishization begin?