Alright, alright. Time to get serious for a minute. Cultural Appropriation is a term that I keep seeing, all over the internerdz and I’m so happy that people are talking and being vocal.
I’m a black woman. I grew up in the metropolis of West London, a melting pot of cultures from all over the world. My parents ensured that as a child, I was made aware of who I am, where I’m from, the struggles that black people have faced throughout history (and still face today), and I was taught about the plethora of strong, black social figures that inspire so many of us today. I was also taught that as a POC (person of colour), I would might find that I have to work twice as hard as others and, ultimately, to treat people how you would like to be treated – with respect.
Yesterday, I came across this video – made by Amandla Stenberg (from The Hunger Games) along with a classmate for a history project. Amandla articulates the points of her argument without all of the keyboard aggression that just really bums me out when scrolling through Tumblr.
One of my favourite things in life is learning about new cultures, exploring new things and sharing my culture with others. One of my least favourite things is people taking attributes of things that I identify as my culture* (or any other culture for that matter) and turning it into something that lacks sincerity (yes, my baby hairs are laid with the utmost sincerity). For example – people using patois phrases like “blood”, pointing inwards, awkwardly hopping from one foot to another, swapping T’s with D’s with their baseball cap flipped backwards and adding “innit?” to the end of every sentence. Like, who actually does that? Why is it funny? Who are you mocking?
I could go on and on…………….and on and on and on but social issues like this really drag me down. I really wanted to share this as I think it’s super important for people to have a basic understanding of why cultural appropriation sucks and why we should do each other the courtesy of treating one another with respect.
*I would consider my culture to be primarily black (my race), afro-caribbean (my descent), urban (because I was born and raised in a city, not because I’m black).