Black academics criticise English rugby fans singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot | The Independent

Black academics criticise English rugby fans singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot | The Independent – Several respected university figures this week lamented its “slightly racist” use in the Twickenham stands.

Josephine Wright, a professor of music and black studies at the College of Wooster in Ohio, said the words alluded to despair and suffering.

Prof Wright said she sang it with her family at her mother’s burial service in 1989 and branded the use in England “unfortunate”.

“Such cross-cultural appropriations of US slave songs betray a total lack of understanding of the historical context in which those songs were created by the American slave,” she said, speaking to The New York Times.

Arthur Jones, a music history professor and founder of the Spiritual Project at the University of Denver, said his first reaction to finding out about the English use was “absolute shock” and sadness.

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