Amandla-Stenberg-on-Cultural-Appropriation

In a coun­try as diverse as Amer­i­ca cul­tur­al exchange is a nec­es­sary and nor­mal part of life. But I’ve come to real­ize that, when it comes to black wom­en, the rules of this exchange are very dif­fer­ent and often work again­st us. That is when cul­tur­al exchange becomes cul­tur­al appro­pri­a­tion. Here is what it looks like to me;

1. Black wom­en are copied for prof­it but don’t finan­cial­ly ben­e­fit from their own cul­ture in the same way
There is some­thing about a white wom­an doing ‘what black girls do’ that fas­ci­nates Amer­i­ca. So wom­en like Iggy Aza­lea, Fer­gie and the Kar­dashi­ans can heav­i­ly adapt ele­ments of black female cul­ture and ride them to the top of their respec­tive are­nas while black wom­en doing the same things don’t attract the same lev­el of inter­est. And I don’t say this to dimin­ish the hard work the­se wom­en put into their careers. But when Bey­on­ce singing tra­di­tion­al R&B is no longer a sell­able con­cept, while ‘blue eyed soul’ artists like Meghan Train­or and Adele climb the charts, the dichoto­my becomes clear. Super pro­duc­er The Dream;

“What’s crazy is that blacks can’t do soul records any more. We love Adele singing it, but Bey­on­cé singing it? No.”

2. Black wom­en are copied but not sup­port­ed
When they need a sassy or mag­i­cal black sis­ta-girl­friend, non-black wom­en are there for it. But when black wom­en face real vio­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion, we are often met with silence. A 15-year-old black girl is slammed to the ground by a white police offer and fem­i­nist groups are silent. Rihan­na tor­tures a fic­tion­al white wom­an in her Bitch Bet­ter Have My Mon­ey video, white fem­i­nists are up in arms. The incon­sis­ten­cy is dis­con­cert­ing.

3. Black wom­en are copied and not cred­it­ed
For all the ways in which our style is copied you would think black wom­en would have a rep­u­ta­tion for trend­set­ting. That there would be count­less think­pieces about our unique style and con­tri­bu­tion to Amer­i­can beau­ty.

But when flaunt­ing der­ri­eres came en vogue, it was Kim Kar­dashi­an and Jen­nifer Lopez who were cred­it­ed with mak­ing it pop­u­lar despite the parade of ample-bot­tomed black wom­en who came before them, and the fact that big bot­toms are a com­mon occur­rence among black wom­en. Ban­tu knots are called mini-buns and cred­it­ed to Marc Jacobs. Kendall Jen­ner and Kris­ten Stew­art are cred­it­ed with mak­ing corn­rows a hot style. Baby hairs are high fash­ion. Miley Cyrus is the pub­lic face of twerk­ing. Hip­sters at music fes­ti­vals rock box braids and African dashik­is and it rarely ever comes back to the black wom­en who cre­at­ed and pop­u­lar­ized those styles. It’s almost as though Amer­i­ca goes out of its way to erase black wom­en and dis­so­ci­ate them from the trends they inno­vate.

One of our writ­ers, Geniece, has a soci­ol­o­gy degree from Har­vard and recent­ly wrote an arti­cle enti­tled Why Are Aca­d­e­mics Ignor­ing the Nat­u­ral Hair Move­ment. Her con­clu­sion is sear­ing­ly poignant;

I would argue that one rea­son for the dearth of aca­d­e­mic research on the issue is an unfor­tu­nate trend in social sci­ence that focus­es on the prob­lems faced by some groups, rather than their rev­o­lu­tion­ary suc­cess­es… In social sci­ence, wom­en of col­or and specif­i­cal­ly black wom­en, are often stud­ied in the posi­tion of an oppressed group. Case in point: I can bare­ly go one week with­out read­ing a study or cita­tion that dis­cuss­es the high rate of sin­gle black women/black wom­en with chil­dren born out of wed­lock.

What about the sig­nif­i­cance of black wom­en, who in the span of decade, have har­nessed social media, cre­at­ed blogs, vlogs and hair prod­ucts in order to self-edu­cate and chal­lenge a stan­dard of beau­ty that reigned in our soci­ety for hun­dreds of years? The nat­u­ral hair move­ment, I would argue, is much more than “just hair.” It is not just about indi­vid­u­al style choic­es. Col­lec­tive­ly, this move­ment demon­strates the abil­i­ty of a so-called “oppressed” group to mobi­lize cul­tur­al, eco­nom­ic and tech­no­log­i­cal resources to define their sto­ry and shape their move­ment. There­fore, the rel­a­tive silence in acad­e­me is due to in part to the chal­lenge of rec­on­cil­ing the empow­er­ment of a group that has long been char­ac­ter­ized as weak due to racism, sex­ism and clas­sism.

Which brings me to my next point…

4. Black wom­en are copied but are com­i­cal­ly (mis)represented

Let’s take a look at two YouTube per­son­al­i­ties.

BUIODabCIAASgE-

Glozell, vlog­ging since Jan­u­ary 26, 2008
3.7 mil­lion sub­scribers
634 mil­lion chan­nel views
Most pop­u­lar videos include My Push Up Bra Will Help Me Get a Man and Is That Your Breath

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 7.02.21 PM

Nap­tural85, vlog­ging since August 8, 2009
617,000 Youtube sub­scribers
50 mil­lion chan­nel views
Most pop­u­lar videos include How to Cheat a Flexi-Rod and Do It Your­self: Home­made Hair Deep Con­di­tion­er

I’ll let you guess which one is more pop­u­lar with white YouTube view­ers and which is more pop­u­lar with black YouTube view­ers.

The rep­re­sen­ta­tion of black wom­en Amer­i­ca is most inter­est­ed in por­trays us in the worst light — as loud, unin­tel­li­gent, unfem­i­nine and unde­sir­able. So we are being copied even as we are being con­stant­ly pub­licly humil­i­at­ed.

And not only that, Amer­i­ca loves to remind black wom­en of our ‘place’ at the bot­tom of the beau­ty totem poll. Vio­la Davis is not clas­si­cal­ly beau­ti­ful, Ser­e­na Williams’ arms are man­ly, Michelle Oba­ma is fat, Zen­daya Coleman’s faux locs are gross and Psy­chol­o­gy Today declar­es that black wom­en are objec­tive­ly less attrac­tive. All of this, ALL OF IT, as our beau­ty and style trends are copied down to the last detail.

5. When black wom­en speak again­st cul­tur­al appro­pri­a­tion they are pun­ished, or called para­noid and pet­ty
When we point out the ways that cul­tur­al appro­pri­a­tion affects us, we are pun­ished.

‘It’s all in your imag­i­na­tion, because after all, who would want to copy black girls?’
‘There are big­ger issues to talk about than this’
‘Shut up. Nobody cares.’

The most recent exam­ple of this is Andy Cohen call­ing Amand­la Sten­berg a ‘jack­hole’ for speak­ing again­st Kylie Jenner’s corn­rows.

Now let’s step back for a sec­ond… Amand­la is a 16 year old child. She just attend­ed her prom. She is a child actress who has nev­er been caught up in drink­ing, drugs or ille­gal activ­i­ty, unlike many of her indus­try peers. And yet her 32-word com­ment inspired the 47-year-old Cohen to attack her pub­licly, and hun­dreds, hun­dreds of news out­lets to cov­er this ‘sto­ry’ with an over­whelm­ing­ly dis­ap­prov­ing and angry tone. That is intim­i­da­tion and silenc­ing at its finest. And nev­er mind that Amand­la nev­er once said that white girls shouldn’t wear black styles. But who cares about seman­tics when you are send­ing a pub­lic mes­sage that young black girls have no right to chal­lenge the sta­tus quo and assert their voic­es.

Luck­i­ly we are not defined by how main­stream Amer­i­ca treats us. And in the wake of America’s insid­i­ous mes­sag­ing towards black wom­en, we should con­tin­ue to cel­e­brate and doc­u­ment our beau­ty cul­ture and to inno­vate and uncov­er tra­di­tions. We owe our­selves that much.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­lis­te, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

Leave a Reply

57 Comments on "5 Reasons Cultural Appropriation Pisses Me Off as a Black Woman"

Notify of
avatar
patsy
WHEN ARE BLACK WOMEN GOING TO VALUE THEIR DOLLARS?  Com­plain­ing doesn’t make much of a dif­fer­ence but in the USA mon­ey talks. As long as black women’s 7.5 BILLION DOLLARS goes toward white owned hair care busi­ness­es ANNUALLY; as long as black wom­en buy or allow their chil­dren to buy demean­ing rap music orig­i­nal­ly inspired by pris­on indus­try lead­ers to demor­al­ize our youth; as long as we do not con­tribute to orga­ni­za­tions that empow­er our youth; as long as we don’t teach our kids to not lit­ter; as long as we are unwill­ing to sac­ri­fice our hair­dos, clothes, jew­el­ry and… Read more »
Dorian Gray

At some point in your life I hope you come to accept that you are, in fact, racist. It is amaz­ing how blind you are to your own igno­rance. The same goes for all the­se dri­v­el­ing imbe­ciles that par­rot your non­sense.

foreveryoung
Thank you so much for this arti­cle. As a young black wom­an (ear­ly 20s), it makes me cry from its hon­esty and depth. You’ve hit all the nails on the head in an artic­u­late man­ner — with a bal­ance of his­to­ry, the media, facts and black female expe­ri­ences, raw emo­tion and much need­ed dos­es of the truth. You voiced the frus­tra­tions of Black girls/women from all over, who see our own image and cul­ture being recre­at­ed (or mocked, in many cas­es — sub­tle and not so sub­tle) into some­thing that does not rep­re­sent, give cred­it to, hon­or, encour­age, or ben­e­fit… Read more »
Lindsay Mead
I’m con­flict­ed by the con­cept of cul­tur­al appro­pri­a­tion. I have nat­u­ral­ly curly hair. The only way to man­age it is with bot­tles of hair pro­duct, which leaves it feel­ing stiff and crunchy. Not to men­tion that I can’t imag­ine the chem­i­cals are good for me. Any­way, I want­ed to try box braids because they’re pret­ty and seem like less work than my curls. How­ev­er, it doesn’t look like a white girl is allowed to wear box braids. There are a few such braid­ed white females on YouTube and their com­ment sec­tions are noth­ing but hate and cul­tur­al appro­pri­a­tion com­ments. I… Read more »
Rich Garriques

black and african are not two dif­fer­ent things. all black peo­ple are africans the term black was made up by whites not africans. the prob­lem with amer­i­can africans is they do not iden­ti­ty with african peo­ple because they are the lost Africans that were stolen and have no knowl­edge of where they came from which was africa.

Morgan McCray

Right.… Look I want noth­ing more than to know from where in Africa my ances­tors were stolen from. Unfor­tu­nate­ly in soci­ety if I were to stand next to an African wom­an ( who grew up in Africa) there would be stark cul­tur­al dif­fer­ences and expe­ri­ences that have shaped us into two dif­fer­ent wom­en based on those things can I tru­ly say that I am African? Sure we all know that my brown skin indi­cates where my roots come from but my cul­ture is African Amer­i­can.

trackback

[…] the issues of appro­pri­a­tion and gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, which have been addressed elo­quent­ly by peo­ple more versed on the sub­ject, what both­ered me was the faux mes­sage of body pos­i­tiv­i­ty. I don’t want to rehash All About […]

Karin Eclectic Luckey
Karin Eclectic Luckey
NOTHING is cred­it­ed to Marc Jacobs. Not every­one knew they were Ban­tu knots, but that “twist­ed mini bun” fias­co was a joke and I’ll leave it at that. Oh and Bey­on­ce isn’t the only black/brown vocal­ist around so why com­pare ONLY her to a mul­ti­tude of non black artists when there are plen­ty more? I’m actu­al­ly tired of her voice and THAT has noth­ing to do with her col­or OR cul­ture. Over­ex­po­sure does that for me. Ulti­mate­ly I either like or dis­like an artist long before I see what they look like. That’s how it SHOULD be. I’m total­ly pro… Read more »
.

I real­ly don’t like that chick appro­pri­at­ing 80’s generation’s styles, what does she have to do with the cul­ture ?

Simply Mia
I agree that the media are very guilty of cul­tur­al appro­pri­a­tion and don’t give cred­it to cer­tain eth­nic groups when it’s due. And I also agree with most of the points made with­in this arti­cle. How­ev­er, I don’t share the same sen­ti­ments with the last point you made. I think Amand­la gen­uine­ly cares and is will­ing to speak out for the issues that black wom­en (and men) face in Amer­i­ca whether it’s police bru­tal­i­ty again­st black peo­ple or the media’s involve­ment in cul­tur­al appro­pri­a­tion. How­ev­er in that par­tic­u­lar inci­dent with Kylie Jen­ner, I don’t think it was fair of Amand­la… Read more »
frufru

Do you real­ize how racist you sound? Appre­cia­tive Beck­ys of the world… okay Sha­nee­qua.

KSonyka

Exact­ly what is racist about that? Because if your prob­lem is that I used a stereo­typ­i­cal­ly white-sub­ur­ban name, it’s kind of weird that you’re call­ing me Sha­nee­qua.

It’s also pret­ty weird that of all the things I said, that’s the thing you focus on here. That’s telling.

Sabrina black
This real­ly infu­ri­ates my mind. This is a dis­hon­or and I’m 19. I must say that that I emmense­ly like the fact that BGLH has changed and is social­ly aware of their con­cerns sur­round­ing the com­mu­ni­ty and prej­u­dice media. I’ve been notic­ing that more wom­en are becom­ing social coun­cious. I find it heart warm­ing that more of you take the time and patience to address what you feel and what you want to say. You guys care about what’s both­er­ing you and trou­bling oth­er wom­en. I like this big act, actu­al­ly it’s not an act, I mean rev­o­lu­tion of like… Read more »
Zaza

I keep say­ing to black wom­en — we need to stick togeth­er! We are ALWAYS at the bot­tom of any soci­ety in which we exist; and what’s the first thing we do when con­front­ed with one anoth­er? Hate. In my per­son­al expe­ri­ence when I trav­el, black wom­en are the last to com­mu­ni­cate with black wom­en they don’t know, so I always end up hang­ing with the guys or white peo­ple; then I get hate for want­i­ng to be white. We are not unit­ed.

D. R. Maggie

I agree!!!

The Darling Kinkshamer
The Darling Kinkshamer

Inter­est­ing, as a black les­bian I do not nec­es­sar­i­ly agree though.

melissa

Great piece. Good argu­ment and well thought out. This top­ic has been trend­ing for a while and I love how you put it all togeth­er. great job

MalagasyGirl
I mean no dis­re­spect to any­one, im on both sides…so im in the mid­dle :) I’m a very open per­son. I dont think about colour or race when I see a per­son, I just see them. I cant judge peo­ple because of their appear­ances and their race, because to me its just a per­son like me. A per­son that has their own feel­ings etc..  My point is, I feel that there is a hint of dis­crim­i­na­tion here; towards the “non-black” peo­ple. First of all what does being “black” mean? What does a per­son require to be “black”. Africa is in everyone’s… Read more »
KSonyka
> I believe that the “non-black” wom­en who SINCERELY rock those styles mean no harm, they just like it on them­selves that’s it.  The trou­ble is, that doesn’t actu­al­ly mat­ter— whether they mean to or not, they’re still con­tribut­ing to this phe­nom­e­non, and it is harm­ful. That’s the thing about sys­temic racism: it’s BUILT INTO THE SYSTEM. At this point, a lot of it doesn’t *require* con­scious par­tic­i­pa­tion. It real­ly is a case of: if you’re not fight­ing it, you’re con­tribut­ing to it. For exam­ple, the white wom­an who just thinks dread­locks are pret­ty doesn’t actu­al­ly have to *do* any­thing… Read more »
FreeTea

Haha­ha­ha­ha­ha­hah. You aren’t Amer­i­can, are you?

Get back to me about dis­crim­i­na­tion when we start arrest­ing, beat­ing, and killing non-Black peo­ple en masse based sole­ly on their appear­ance.

Morgan McCray
It’s equiv­a­lent to the rea­son why white peo­ple cant say the n word. If it wasn’t used in a deroga­to­ry way again­st black peo­ple in the past it wouldn’t be a big deal now. If black wom­en weren’t made fun of and judged for our big butts big lips and myr­i­ad of hair­styles in the past then it wouldn’t be a thing now. The mes­sage of “it’s beau­ti­ful on fair­er skin” is what is being por­trayed. What is black? … Black is being dis­placed. Black is trac­ing your lin­eage back to a time of oppres­sion and see­ing how far we’ve… Read more »
SW
I think you are miss­ing the point of the arti­cle. This arti­cle is not attack­ing or “dis­crim­i­nat­ing” again­st indi­vid­u­als. It’s bring­ing aware­ness to the fact that the media per­pet­u­ates the points in the argu­ment and soci­ety as a whole accepts what the media por­trays and ignores the facts/history. There is a lot of his­to­ry that cre­at­ed this and many oth­er prob­lems in today’s black and white race rela­tions. No offense, but if you don’t iden­ti­fy with either racial group, have nev­er expe­ri­enced a sit­u­a­tion involv­ing this rela­tion­ship then you would not under­stand and can’t effec­tive­ly weigh in on the sit­u­a­tion.… Read more »
Camille
I don’t think it’s inten­tion­al, but it’s hard to see proof of how palat­able some­thing is just for not being done/said/performed by a black per­son. Kim K and J Lo were girls with big butts before they dat­ed famous black men. In the late 90’s Kim was Paris Hilton’s fat Per­sian friend. IMO white cul­ture isn’t real­ly that into curves yet, and almost all of their fame is a result of buzz cre­at­ed by their pop­u­lar­i­ty with black peo­ple. I can’t think of a ful­ly white wom­an with a big butt who is famous among white peo­ple and not for… Read more »
The Darling Kinkshamer
The Darling Kinkshamer

Kim K’s is “mod­i­fied”, J Lo was the orig­i­nal and then Bey­on­ce of course.

blackgirllonghair

Lol! Thanks. This was inspired by all the attacks on Amand­la Sten­berg. I was going through the Google feed think­ing, “Oh my God, they are NOT attack­ing a 16-year-old girl!” But they were, so I got mad and wrote this, lol.

Kari

There are times when anger can bring about the best in cre­ativ­i­ty and bril­liance, and this piece is evi­dent of such.

blackgirllonghair
Michael, thanks for the com­ment! I would say it can’t be prop­er imi­ta­tion if the per­son being imi­tat­ed isn’t cred­it­ed. What do we gain from see­ing hun­dreds of wom­en walk­ing around with butt injec­tions and lip fillers and ‘trendy’ African prints if we turn on our TVs to an onslaught of ‘black wom­en are ugly and pathet­ic’ media cov­er­age. Is that flat­tery? I don’t real­ly think so. I do think that the adap­ta­tion of a black(er) beau­ty stan­dard is good for Amer­i­ca because it’s not (IMO) as sti­fling as the white beau­ty stan­dard. Black wom­en, IMO, are a lot more… Read more »
Caela Bialek
Yes! I am so with you on all of this, but espe­cial­ly the lib­er­a­tion of adopt­ing a ‘black(er) beau­ty stan­dard’, as you put it. I am mixed Welsh/Jewish, so I have pale skin and there­fore have not expe­ri­enced racism in the US. But I’ve had loads of body image issues through­out my life, because I don’t look like oth­er pale peo­ple (espe­cial­ly the ones in mass media). Bushy/frizzy hair, broad shoul­ders, big butt, large nos­trils, cater­pil­lar eye­brows, etc. Any­way, long sto­ry short (ish), I’ve recent­ly begun following/reading a lot of pages cre­at­ed by and for black wom­en, includ­ing BGLH. The… Read more »
Emma W
I loved this arti­cle. One minor issue is the com­par­ison between Glozell and Nat­u­ral85. One is a come­di­an and there­fore, look­ing for a wide audi­ence. The oth­er as you know is a hair and beau­ty vlog­ger who by the nature of her hair tex­ture will have a lim­it­ed audi­ence as a non-kinky tex­tured view­er may not see rel­e­vance in what is being dis­cussed. Per­haps a com­par­ison of anoth­er black female come­di­an who doesn’t rely on a clown style rou­tine would have made your point more strong­ly. in oth­er news, thank you for writ­ing this piece. I didn’t know about that… Read more »
Emma W

Bleugh! Typos galore!! My apolo­gies, all — I was typed the post above on my mobile phone

blackgirllonghair
But the inter­est­ing thing is that hair and beau­ty vlog­gers reign on YouTube. Michelle Phan, It’s Judy Time, Andrea’s Choice, Ingrid Nilsen, Bethany Mota. And yes, Nap­tural85 focus­es most­ly on nat­u­ral hair, but a lot of her tips are applic­a­ble to a vari­ety of tex­tures. So, the ques­tion becomes WHY is Nap­tural85 not in the same lev­el of influ­ence as oth­er non-black wom­en (I think Andrea’s Choice might be mixed??) who vlog about hair and beau­ty. And why is a black come­di­an who presents ter­ri­ble images of black wom­en as a bedrock of her com­e­dy the ONLY black wom­an to… Read more »
Morgan McCray

I’ve been won­der­ing the same thing . I’ve also noticed and I HATE to say it but based on the fol­low­ers and views just going by the apper­ances of beau­ty YouTu­bers I see a divide like in slav­ery. The dark skinned wom­en have a small­er fol­low­ing than the lighter skinned wom­en. I wish it weren’t true and I’m hes­i­tant to bring it up but it’s there. And glozell is the house n**** that gets the atten­tion from major­i­ty of white peo­ple. Of I’m wrong tell me I would love to be wrong about this.

Emma W
It’s hor­ri­ble that Glozell’s style of com­e­dy is what is cur­rent­ly sell­ing. The first time I saw one of her videos, I hon­est­ly thought it was a joke. Then I realised all of her videos are in the same style of stu­pid. Don’t get me wrong, I love puerile child­ish humour, but her stylings just weren’t for me. I had NO IDEA she was as pop­u­lar as she is. My hope is that the comedic stylings of YouTu­bers like Smooth­ief­reak become more pop­u­lar and over­shad­ow that oth­er fool­ish­ness. I will be check­ing out the oth­er blog­gers you’ve men­tioned as I… Read more »
blackgirllonghair

Krissy­Chu­la is hilar­i­ous with­out all the, well, we’ll say ‘affec­ta­tions’ of Glozell. She is wit­ty and hilar­i­ous https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUlwm7c8pzVM79fLJRojK_Q

Jasmine S

Yes, this is the best arti­cle I have read on this blog in a while, not that I didn’t enjoy the oth­ers but this shit right here…you know the rest, much love and respect..you bet­ter use this plat­form:)

Philly Jawn

Yes sis­ter tell them

Michelle Emeritus

Spot on. Unfor­tu­nate­ly (and here’s anoth­er worth­while top­ic for exam­i­na­tion and arti­cle write-up) black men have bought into the lies about black wom­en — WHOLESALE! — and con­se­quent­ly, whilst strug­gling with their own dam­aged self-esteem, have opt­ed to effect their own ‘solu­tion’ in their own spe­cial behav­ioural way. No prizes for guess­ing which social phe­nom­e­non I’m refer­ring to here…let’s just say their own-hat­ing mind­set explains the past few decades epi­demic of jun­gle-fever that’s bro­ken out in the west­ern hemi­sphere.

Guest

Don’t wor­ry, those non-BW are not get­ting a prize. An arti­cle just came out that states that, 92% of mixed race chil­dren of BM are born out of wed­lock and 80% are on wel­fare. The self-hate of the­se BM is deep.

Alex

Appre­ci­ate your tex­tured hair it’s one of the things they can nev­er claim, may­be that’s why they always ask us about straight­ing it.

Michael
I’m a White gay male and I’ve nev­er read an arti­cle quite like this. You’d be a fas­ci­nat­ing per­son to have cof­fee with! : ) Very provoca­tive and you real­ly make a lot of thought­ful points. Thanks for shar­ing. Of course, as with any­thing this deep, after hear­ing it for the first time, I real­ly need to think about it care­ful­ly and take some time to under­stand it more. How­ev­er, my first reac­tion is remem­ber­ing the say­ing that ‘imi­ta­tion is the height of flat­tery’. I remem­ber a time when being Black was not cool (among Whites) and most White peo­ple… Read more »
Lucie

Only one ques­tion. Did you phys­i­cal­ly drop the mic when you were done writ­ing this or is that only in my head? This arti­cle was per­fect per­fect per­fect. Thank you for putting it all into words.

Elowwole

Go OFF!

Dee

This post is absolute­ly per­fect!!

StraightShooter
I hope this shift in Black Amer­i­can con­scious­ness con­tin­ues. I was so upset about Andy Cohen attack­ing a 16 year old girl, while try­ing to say Kylie should receive a pass because she is 17. I won’t be watch­ing Bravo any­more and I hope that oth­er Black peo­ple join. Bravo makes a lot of mon­ey off of Black wom­en and this is the appre­ci­a­tion we receive. We are only allowed to be the “sassy friend”. The oth­er thing that pushed me over the edge was a Black wom­an sit­ting next Cohen cosign­ing his mess. This real­ly makes me look at… Read more »
Jayjay

Yeah, I lost all respect for Lav­erne after that. What real­ly amazed me, is that she is trans­gen­der, and basi­cal­ly want­ed to become a black wom­an. So how could she sit there and allow anoth­er black wom­an to be attacked?

Janet Holmes

well said

Keda

Thank you for this arti­cle! !! So on point. Things are get­ting stranger and stranger in this coun­try. ..n we were once a peo­ple unafraid to speak the truth. It sick­ens me how we are belit­tled in the media n even some of our own think it’s a laugh­ing mat­ter. In the mid­dle of white girls try­ing to twerk n flaunt­ing their pur­chased body parts Black church­es r burn­ing in 2015!!!!!

cryssi

Whew I’m at work, why did I read this now??? I can’t be in here side eying all of my white coworkers…college is what real­ly helped me to see the white dou­ble stan­dard and low key made me dis­like and dis­trust most. 

Read­ing this sad­ly remind­ed me why…

Nicole

yaaaaaaaaaas miss Leila I’m soooo glad to see you writ­ing again; I STILL remem­ber the old blogspot when you would do the sun­day reflec­tions on this nat­u­ral ish posts.

blackgirllonghair

Oh dang! That was waaaay back in the day, lol! And thank you :)

AfricanAmy

The updat­ed BGLH which ‘speaks’ about more than hair gets a thumbs up from me.
Well thought out argu­ment. It’s impor­tant that more black peo­ple stand up for our­selves and count our­selves as valu­able, beau­ti­ful, suc­cess­ful, trendy, inno­v­a­tive, intel­li­gent, etc. We do this for our­selves first then in time oth­ers will acknowl­edge. There will unfor­tu­nate­ly always be some­one putting some­one else down BUT let’s cel­e­brate our­selves, right?

blackgirllonghair

Yes! The mon­keys don’t stop the show. The fly­ness is in our DNA ;)

blackgirllonghair

It is not the bor­row­ing of the cul­ture that is prob­lem­at­ic. And I hope that that came through in the piece.

Camille

It did. My point was that the bor­row­ing is the gate­way to the cul­tur­al appro­pri­a­tion and dis­re­spect. We can’t stop them from copy­ing us but we don’t have to help and sup­port them. As black Amer­i­cans the line between cul­ture and enter­tain­ment is VERY thin, and when there are so many blacks around help­ing the Justin Tim­ber­lakes of the world, it sends a con­fus­ing mes­sage about what belongs to who.

kalexa1

Agreed. Unfor­tu­nate­ly some will do any­thing for mon­ey. They’re tra­di­tion­al­ly known as ‘sell-outs’ and they have been doing so for decades/centuries, to the detri­ment of their own.

Camille
Our cul­ture is seen as enter­tain­ment, not as sacred. The plan­ta­tions that our ances­tors are buried on are vaca­tion spots. We need to appro­pri­ate their cul­ture and get those plan­ta­tions roped off like con­cen­tra­tion camps. They are sacred spaces and we need to make sure they’re treat­ed accord­ing­ly. We have more pow­er than we think. We shouldn’t have tol­er­at­ed the Con­fed­er­ate flag for as long as we did.  Also, those white artists didn’t appro­pri­ate all by them­selves. Almost all of them have black pro­duc­ers. Chances are a black hair­styl­ist put in most of those corn­rows. Is it steal­ing if you have… Read more »
LC

Thank you!

wpDiscuz