Folks on Twitter laughed at Summer Walker after she posted a picture in all white while shopping at the grocery store but her white garbs wasn’t about fashion sense. It was about her spiritual journey.
After Twitter trolls poked fun at her, practitioners of African Traditional Religions united and came to her defense. The responses not only confronted those teasing the “No Love” singer but also educated folks on why she was dressed that way.
“The journey with [African Traditional Religions] is a Long one to reconnect you back to what was lost and ripped from us!,” Iya Omiseun wrote in Instagram. “We were so connected to the earth and nature and that Reconnection takes WORK, STUDYING AND SUPPORT!!!”
Omiseun added that once she saw Walker dressed in all white she knew “exactly where @summerwalker was in her journey.”
“I am so proud to see women like summer healing and claiming their true power!!! May the egun and orisas bless her and cover her on this journey of elevation!”
African Traditional Religion combines “African beliefs and practices that are considered religious but neither Christian nor Islamic,” according to Oxford.
Social media personality Jay Versace also came to the Atlanta native’s defense.
“I know y’all are posting this hoping to make everyone laugh, but we gotta create space for black women to navigate their spiritual practice,” he tweeted. “This is a African traditional attire for a specific spiritual practice. Let’s decide who we wanna tear down and who we wanna uplift.”
Walker then responded to the trolls and explained that she is an iyawo, which means she is practicing Santeria, an African religion that originated in West Africa.
“Who’s the clown? The ones trying to reconnect to STOLEN practices? Or the ones who can’t see the importance of their own culture,” she wrote on Instagram. “Also, I know yawos aren’t supposed to post themselves, but I got blessings from my godparents to post myself for work. I wanna show how you can do your job and still be a yawo while still rejecting vanity. I’m doing this publicly to show how important it is to be in African religions / to de-stigmatize them.”