Just in time before the end of the summer, Wu-Tang Clan super-producer RZA is collaborating with Good Humor Ice Cream company to circumvent the problematic ice cream jingle, “Turkey in the Straw” due to its racist roots. This jingle has rung throughout our communities for decades, perpetuating the subtle roots of negativity and hatred towards people of color that exists in this country.
RZA shared that “…we come to find out that it has racist roots” and thus he has created a significant change effort to bring equality and betterment to the painful jingle that has rang out in our community for decades. The messages that are manifested into the youth create the foundation for their belief system. As our country is fighting hard to eradicate injustice in the future, RZA is using his talents to support the change our society needs and is pushing for.
The “Turkey in the Straw” jingle began as a traditional British tune and had no racial undertones. It was later brought to the American colonies by Scots-Irish immigrants and then used by minstrel show performers in blackface and set to very racist lyrics.
“While these associations of “Turkey in the Straw” are not the only part of its legacy, it is undeniable that this melody conjures memories of its racist iterations,” Good Humor said in a statement.