The singer Adele has been accused of cultural appropriation after sharing a photo of herself on Instagram with her hair in Bantu knots — a traditional African hairstyle.

The photo, in which she is seen wearing a Jamaican bikini top, was posted as a tribute to London’s Notting Hill Carnival, which normally takes place this weekend, but was moved online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A comment on Adele’s Instagram post read: “Bantu knots are NOT to be worn by white people in any context, period.”

One Twitter user wrote: “If 2020 couldn’t get any more bizarre, Adele is giving us Bantu knots and cultural appropriation that nobody asked for. This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic. Hate to see it.”

However, the singer received many messages of support as well.

One wrote: “Give the girl a break. It’s Notting Hill Carnival Bank Holiday Monday and she looks great!”

Others claimed she wasn’t “appropriating” Black culture, but “appreciating” it.


London politician David Lammy, noting that Adele is from Tottenham, North London, herself, wrote on Twitter: “This humbug totally misses the spirit of Notting Hill Carnival and the tradition of ‘dress up’ or ‘masquerade.’ Adele was born and raised in Tottenham. She gets it more than most. Thank you Adele. Forget the Haters.”