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Taylor Swift’s 1830s Lyrics Spark Backlash from African Americans

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In the opening lines of the second verse, Swift sings about how she and her friends “used to play a game where/We would pick a decade/We wished we could live in instead of this.””I’d say the 1830s but without all the racists/And getting married off for the highest bid,” Swift sings.

The song does then continue by conceding: “Seems like it was never even fun back then/Nostalgia is a mind’s trick/If I’d been there, I’d hate it/It was freezing in the palace.”But the line about the 1830s has raised a lot of eyebrows especially among Black people, who pointed out that slavery was still legal during that time. Women also didn’t have the right to vote and it was an era marred by many health pandemics including influenza and cholera.Kiki Rae Real, an anti-racism education content creator, argued how we define racism nowadays was not applicable in the 1830s when even “[slavery] abolitionists of that time were not exempt from anti-black views.”

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