Animal Collective have apologized for using a “racist stereotype” in the artwork of their 2006 EP, People, swapping out its cover image as they launch their back catalog on Bandcamp. The band also changed the title of their 2003 LP, Here Comes the Indian, to Ark.
“There is no way to excuse using a ‘mammy’ on our artwork, and so we have decided to remove it,” they wrote on Instagram of the original People cover, which features a black woman and two white children. “We understand now that using a racist stereotype at all causes more damage than an explanation can repair, and we apologize.” They also pledged a portion of the record’s royalties to the Equal Justice Initiative.
Reflecting on the title of Here Comes the Indian, the group wrote, “With utmost respect to Indigenous people we feel that having the word Indian in our record title sends the wrong message by objectifying the American Indian people which is not what we were intending with the music.” They’re directing a portion of royalties from the newly titled Ark to Seeding Sovereignty.
All of Animal Collective’s Bandcamp proceeds on Friday, July 3rd will benefit Cultural Survival, Equal Justice Initiative, Seeding Sovereignty, Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and the Okra Project. They’ve also pledged an additional $10,000 split between those organizations.
In their post, the band also detailed their newly released EP, Bridge to Quiet, which they assembled in April and May from a series of improvisations recorded over the precious year. “We remixed them, collaged them, and built them into songs,” they wrote, adding that the “cathartic process” also pushed them to begin another “new project in the same fashion.”
The majority of the band’s catalog is available on Bandcamp, including all of their LPs and the digital debut of several deep cuts.