Ludacris has responded
to the outcry that resulted after the Atlanta, Georgia rapper donned a Confederate
Flag during his performance Nov. 12 at the 3rd annual Vibe Awards.
For the show's finale, Ludacris performed the new song "Georgia"
with Bobby Valentino and Field Mobb.
Luda said he wore the flag to make a statement and spark discussion.
"This flag represents the oppression that we as African
Americans have endured for years; this is a symbol of segregation and the racism
that reigned not only throughout the South but throughout the entire United
States," said Ludacris in a statement. "I wore it to represent where
we came from, to remind people that Ray Charles' original 'Georgia' was written
because of that racism."
Charles' version of Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia On My Mind"
was named the Georgia state song in 1979.
Luda pointed out that he later discarded the flag, stomped on
it, and brought a different flag bearing the traditional African colors—red,
black, and green.
"It is a representation and my interpretation of where
we were and where we need to go. Racism is just as prevalent now and if we are
not constantly mindful of our history and take charge of it, history is destined
to repeat itself because of ignorance.
to move forward, we must never forget where we were," Luda continued. "I
hope people continue to question and challenge authority, media and themselves
because questioning and challenging can only lead to enlightenment."