Prince Harry Supports Decision To Review Singing Of Slave Song At Rugby Games

Written by on June 21, 2020

Amid protests towards police brutality and the homicide of George Floyd, corporations are reevaluating their manufacturers, and establishments are questioning long-standing practices and traditions in help of the Black Lives Matter motion. 

The Rugby Soccer Union introduced final week that, in mild of latest occasions, it might evaluate the controversial use of the slave non secular “Swing Low, Candy Chariot,” which is routinely sung by followers of the England rugby union staff. 

Prince Harry, who’s a patron of the RFU and a lifelong supporter of the game, backs the evaluate, a spokesperson advised HuffPost on Sunday.

“The Duke is supportive of the feedback the RFU made this week relating to the evaluate, and he’ll observe the lead of the RFU on this matter,” a spokesperson for the prince advised HuffPost, referring to Harry by his title, the Duke of Sussex.

The RFU stated in an announcement: “The RFU has said we have to do extra to attain variety, and we’re decided to speed up change and develop consciousness.” 

The union added: “The Swing Low, Candy Chariot tune has lengthy been a part of the tradition of rugby and is sung by many who haven’t any consciousness of its origins or sensitivities. We’re reviewing its historic context and our function in educating followers to make knowledgeable choices.”

“Swing Low, Candy Chariot” is a Black non secular that was sung each on the Underground Railroad and at Black funerals, Josephine Wright, a professor of music historical past and literature and Africana research on the School of Wooster, advised The New York Instances in 2017. It’s “unlucky” that rugby followers appropriated the tune, she added.

“Such cross-cultural appropriations of U.S. slave songs betray a complete lack of information of the historic context wherein these songs had been created by the American slave,” she stated.  

Using the tune by white rugby followers is “a slap within the face to the historical past of slavery,” Cornell William Brooks, a professor on the Harvard Kennedy College and former CEO and president of the NAACP, advised CNN.

“Are you able to think about individuals whose lives, our bodies and beings had been being offered as commodities singing about freedom, their eager for freedom, their eager for a God to free them, and have those self same songs being sung in celebration of a victory on a rugby subject?” Brooks advised CNN in 2017. “It’s simply odd and traditionally insulting.” 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated Friday that he “definitely didn’t suppose there needs to be any form of prohibition” on singing the tune. 

“My curiosity is why don’t individuals appear to know the remainder of it,” Johnson stated final week throughout a go to to a faculty in Hertfordshire. “I’d love to listen to the remainder of it.” 

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