School's In Podcast: Cultural Appropriation
And I feel the need to say here that because people mention slavery it doesn't mean that anyone is blaming any one person walking the earth today for slavery.
No, slavery is no one's fault but we're living in a world where African American women feel the pressure of straightening their hair to seem more acceptable with harsh chemicals and heat to assimilate into the culture they were brought up into.
Look up Jessica Sims who became a discharged Navy vet because of her locs.
Melphine Evans, Farryn Johnson who was fired because she had blonde hair and "black people don't have blonde hair", and the story that stands out the most to me is the story of Rhonda Lee she cut off the damage of her hair and was sporting an afro. How is this any different than a pixie cut?
It is our culture and our heritage to wear cornrows, yes cornrows originated in Africa. So when celebrities adopt these parts of our lives that we would be otherwise vilified for and kept from getting jobs, racially profiled, getting promotions, housing loans at better rates, better treatment in schools.
This year girls got into trouble for wearing braids to school. Because having hair thicker than 2 inches is a distraction. So...no braids. What else are we supposed to do with our hair? Keep frying it to make it straight to make everyone else feel good? Because...reasons?
So does this mean you can only exploit a culture based on your own ethnic identity?
For now, yes.
It's dumb isn't it? I agree that it's dumb but it's literally not right, it's not fair that people like Katy Perry to appropriate rap culture and use the very aspects of African American life to profit from it. Look at Iggy Azalea, she does not know what it's like to be black, she comes from a country where they killed all the Aborigines, and no I'm not blaming her for that but am I the only one who notices she puts on an accent, like being black in America is a game to her. It's a persona to adopt and when she's done with it the show is over.
If it's not okay for black people to be black why is okay for other people to pretend to be black for a profit?
And I don't blame these artists, this is been happening for quite some time. Look at Elvis Presley no he wasn't overt but where do you think that style of rock and roll came from? That's right. The blues and who had the blues, we did. TV stations wouldn't show Elvis' hips because he was shaking them and gyrating them. Sounds mighty black to me. But ok.
Well, what about Eminem?
Em is different. He doesn't get all the passes but he gets enough because he's coming from a place that expresses his upbringing through rap music. He's not pretending to be black or come from a place he knows nothing about. He was being himself. His race didn't factor into the fact that he loves rap music and wants to rap.
Katy Perry wearing cornrows in a music video just to be cool or Miley Cyrus making a mockery of hip-hop is not the same thing.
But these girls are upset about curls and frizz.