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Charles Onyeabor’s “Black or White” Inspires Global Unity Across Diverse Lines

Charles Onyeabor’s “Black or White” Inspires Global Unity Across Diverse Lines

Black or White - Charles Onyeabor - Afrocritik

In a world still grappling with racial discrimination and division, “Black or White” couldn’t be timelier as an anthem for unity and love.

By Emmanuel Okoro

Afrobeats and Funk sensation, Charles Onyeabor’s latest single, “Black or White” opens with the resonating declaration, “We are the same”. This sets the tone for a mid-tempo bop infused with xylophone-like chords and propelled by electro-padded drums and basslines. Featuring Italian singer and songwriter, Luna, the track is a rallying cry for global unity across racial, gender, and religious spectrums.

Black or White - Charles Onyeabor - Afrocritik

If the name ‘Onyeabor’ strikes you as familiar, you’re not wrong. Charles is the eldest son of Electro-Afropunk pioneer, William Onyeabor, renowned for self-releasing several albums and producing hit records like the 1978 “Better Change Your Mind”, which is included in the World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love’s a Real Thing – The Funky Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa. It is from this rich musical and cultural background that the singer comes from, and he embodies this through his music.

Charles launched his music career after his father’s passing with the 2020 single, “They Can’t Pull Us Down” featuring Miriam Taylor, and followed it up with “Do It Your Way” featuring Enrico Matheis the next year. Despite being nestled in his father’s shadow, the singer has garnered recognition on a global scale, embarking on tours with some of Africa’s finest acts and earning accolades along the way.

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Charles Onyeabor - Black or White - Afrocritik
Charles Onyeabor

The artiste has done pretty well for himself, with his 2022 single “Ije Nwoke”, and “They Can’t Pull Us Down” being featured on Lonzo Nzekwe’s 2023 crime thriller, Orah, which was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“Black or White”, arrives on the heels of his 2023 debut album, Like Father, Like Son, which was positively received. The song not only shares antecedence with Michael Jackson’s 1991 track of the same name, but it also mirrors the sentiments with its underlying lyricism. In a world still grappling with racial discrimination and division, “Black or White” couldn’t be timelier as an anthem for unity and love.

It’s fitting that on a song promoting harmony and challenging racial norms, Charles collaborates with Luna, an artiste of Italian descent. Together, they explore the complexities of race through melodious lines, shedding light on universal experiences that bind us all. As such, the track is an insight into our shared humanity and the importance of embracing humanity, despite our diverse backgrounds.

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