Cancellation of Afrobeat Band Shokazoba at Hampshire College’s Hampshire Halloween Creates Controversy

Lori Stabile, Mass Live, October 26, 2013

Shokazoba’s cancellation from the Hampshire Halloween event Friday night at Hampshire College, after one band member said they were criticized of being “too white” to play Afrobeat music, is reverberating on social media.

Shokazoba keyboard player Jason Moses said on Saturday that the entire incident has upset the band, which he said was the target of an online campaign by approximately 30 people–a campaign that led to the band’s ultimate cancellation from the annual event.

Moses said the firestorm started when someone posted an inflammatory comment online about Hampshire College hiring an all-white band to play Afrobeat music for the event. He said the band is not all white, and race should not be an issue anyway.


The decision to cancel the band was made by the Hype Committee, which puts on Hampshire Halloween.

The Hype Committee wrote on its Facebook page on Oct. 24: “Due to concerned students voicing their opinions about the band Shokazoba, we held community dialogue to hear what individuals had to say. As a result of the dialogue, and discomfort expressed by members of the community in person as well as by email, Facebook, and other means, we have removed Shokazoba from the lineup for Hampshire Halloween.”

Elaine Thomas, Hampshire College spokeswoman, said in a statement that the student organizers of Hampshire Halloween contracted with a number of bands, and that some students “questioned the selection of one band, asking whether it was a predominantly white Afrobeat band, and expressing their concerns about cultural appropriation and the need to respect marginalized cultures.”

“The students tried to be clear that they meant no disrespect to the members of the band in question, but wished to raise larger questions and deeper thought within our own community,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately, voices unconnected to our campus and to the events of Hampshire Halloween drowned out a reasonable conversation about how to ensure that the entire student community could have a safe and happy evening. As can happen on social media, posts from off-campus individuals trivialized the concerns of our students and made them feel disrespected.”

She said student organizers met with concerned students on Thursday, and following that meeting, decided to cancel the band’s appearance, but pay them in full anyway.


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  • sbuffalonative

    First off, I believe they’re the ones who expropriated our musical traditions. What musical traditions did they have before they copied and then corrupted our music? We should demand they stop using our instruments and technology to produce their music.

    • Brian

      I think the banjo has african origins; other than that, goatskin drums. Don’t know of anything else.

  • bigone4u

    If whites had the attitude exhibited by the student radicals here, people like Nat “King” Cole and other black entertainers who appropriated white music would never had had a career. For the record, I do not like it when whites appropriate black music any better than I like black “singers” who caterwaul at the World Series and Super Bowl. The white students at this college should stay home or hire a white Appalachian folk musician with musical roots in celtic Europe.

  • Manaphy

    I simply don’t get why there are so many idiotic liberal whites (in 99% white New Hampshire out of all places) who want to mimic Bantus by playing Afrobeat “music”. White society has produced the great masterpieces of Wagner, Mahler, Mozart, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bach, etc.., yet these Whiggers want to drop everyone’s IQ by playing the sound of mentally retarded Africans (is there any other kind?) carelessly banging on drums.

    • Hunter Morrow

      Or rock, hard rock, industrial, grind, heavy metal, jam bands, punk, etc.

      “Afrobeat.” Yuck.

      • Or country, bluegrass, Celtic music, etc.

        P.S. No blacks can play any of that. It’s cultural appropriation and racist against Whites.

      • Brian

        If they have to have some black music they could at least go the high road with jazz, not this Afrobeat tribal foolishness.

    • Brian

      We have both Williams– Vaughan and Hank. Good enough for me!

    • Sick of it

      Here’s an answer – Mr. Moses is probably not an Eskimo.

  • Spartacus

    Pathetic… America is doomed, and I say good riddance ! The only question is – are there still real men left there to build a new nation from the ashes of the fallen Babylon ?

    • bigone4u

      “Real men,” to use your term, are not just warriors. There is the Dad who takes his son fishing. There is the husband who is faithful to his wife. There is the animal lover who volunteers at the animal shelter. There is the teacher and college professor who reject political correctness and teach the truth. Real men eschew violence when it is unnecessary. Real men play the cards they are dealt, but are ready to act when necessary. Not all men are warriors, nor should they be. It takes all kinds to build civilization.

      • Romulus

        Quite true! I hope our warriors have all the qualities you described.

      • Spartacus

        You can’t take you son fishing if some mongrels put his head on a pike . You can’t be faithful to your wife if you allow her to be gang-raped by Lemarics&co. All things derive from strength first and foremost, and if we are weak, anything we build or create will inevitably be taken away from us .

        • bigone4u

          Strength arises from many sources. Unfortunately, many of our warrior class in the USA have been indoctrinated into the cult of diversity. Strength of character is what is needed now in America, more so than physical strength. The warrior class can include women and the elderly and even the crippled, so long as they make it their mission to fight diversity using whatever strengths they do have.

    • Brian

      There are in the state of Georgia.

      • Spartacus

        Good to hear that. Hail Georgia !

        • Brian

          Right back at you. Coincidentally, I’m listening to Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsodies right now.

          • Spartacus

            A man of fine tastes, I see .

          • ms_anthro

            Enescu is wonderful.

          • convairXF92

            The main melody of Enescu’s RR#1 was also used by the great violinist/composer Dinicu. Look up Dinicu’s *The Lark*. I once watched a large-orchestra version of this with a little tiny Hungarian kid on solo violin. The kid was utterly amazing.

  • Puggg

    This is like throwing Eminem out of the BET Awards.

  • So CAL Snowman

    “some students “questioned the selection of one band, asking whether it
    was a predominantly white Afrobeat band, and expressing their concerns
    about cultural appropriation and the need to respect marginalized

    Oh those poor poor “marginalized” cultures. Us White people are just so insensitive to cannibalistic rituals, female genital mutilation, covering our women head to toe in bedsheets and publicly executing women with rocks for the crime of reading. Those cultures were never embraced by Western civilization for a reason you mentally deranged liberals.

  • APaige

    Last week there was a posting with a black guy bemoaning the lack of diversity in major orchestras. That is white music-from the instruments to musical scales, notation, polyphony, and tonal harmony. The intelligence to design and build great musical halls, and the ability to finance the construction. Where would ‘black’ music be without European instruments and the above mentioned inventions? Without electricity? The means to record and distribute music in various forms? The only answer I have is that they would be sitting in dirt banging on an animal skin drum and blowing air through a bone.

  • Rhialto

    “…As can happen on social media, posts from off-campus individuals trivialized the concerns of our students and made them feel disrespected.”, says Hampshire Spokesperson.

    Another example of Liberals and Feminists unable to handle opposition. They can dish it out, taking it is another matter.

  • Romulus

    Marginalized culture????!!!!!

    That’s the biggest load of crap I have ever heard! All day ever GD DAMNED, all we ever here is black this,latino that. Some foreigner always has something stuck in their craw.
    The reason that were all here is because of non stop jungle mania.
    ENOUGH I SAY!!!!!

  • If “cultural appropriation” is deemed bad, I must insist that groids stop using written languages, mathematics, calendars, metal tools, seagoing vessels, internal combustion engines, etc. etc. etc.

  • MBlanc46

    Racism is alive and well in Massachusetts.

  • ViktorNN

    I have to admit it’s one of life’s simple pleasures watching some smug politically correct white liberals in a dorky hippie band get strung up and get the “you’re racist!” treatment by even more politically correct “people of color” who hate white people.

    It’s a good lesson for them, after all, it’s white liberals who are holding the rest of us white folks back.

  • M.

    “Diversity” is just a polite way to say, “less White people”.

    • Brian

      When I hear ‘diversity’, I unlock my Browning.

    • Justin_Igger

      Good thing a White man has the worth of more than a thousand n1ggers.


    Cathlene Battle is black and sings classical opera. So what?


      Don’t you know it’s racist to mention black people who do white things. Scorn, judgment and racial aggression. Is to be reserved for whites who do black things, Hispanic things or anything that gives other races a chance to display there hatred for whites. Which by the way has nothing to do with racism, because only whites have the ability to be racist, or something like that.

  • JJK

    Play that funky music white boy.

  • ms_anthro

    Yes, actually. More specifically, from Scots-Irish traditions brought to America shores by indentured servants and sharecroppers. All have country roots, and all trace back to the Old Country: our Old Country.