This Tuesday, a video was posted by Jordan’s girlfriend Lori Harvey, congratulating his rum brand launch J’Ouvert. But many took issue with the Black Panther star using — and trademarking — the name while having no apparent personal connection to the region. By Wednesday Jordan had a change of heart and announced he will rename his rum J’Ouvert, following the backlash.
“I just wanna say on behalf of myself and my partners, our intention was never to offend or hurt a culture we love and respect and hoped to celebrate and shine a positive light on,” Jordan wrote.
“Last few days has been a lot of listening,” he went on. “A lot of learning and engaging in countless community conversations.”
“We hear you,” he said. “I hear you and want to be clear that we are in the process of renaming.”
News of the rum caused Trinidadians to fume online as they claimed that the actor had no ties to the island. However, unconfirmed reports suggest that Jordan’s business partner is a Trinidadian, as some persons felt that if this was the case, they might be fine with Michael B. Jordan being associated with the name as his brand.
The History of J’Ouvert
J’Ouvert is an element of carnival which is a celebration that begins with the commencement of the Lent season with carnival culminating on Ash Wednesday. J’Ouvert, in particular, is characterized by a party that features ash, powder, music, and dancing before dawn and peaks after sunrise.
J’Ouvert, which originated in Trinidad, has long been associated with emancipation street parties from 1838 when Africans, formerly slaves being banned from joining the Carnivals of their slave owners, were now free to participate in carnival.