“What would America be like if we loved Black people as much as we love Black culture?”
That’s the question 16-year-old Amandla Stenberg (AKA Rue from The Hunger Games) poses at the end of her video, “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows: A Crash Discourse on Black Culture.” The video, posted a few months ago on Tumblr, was made with a classmate for a history class assignment and calls out how white pop stars and fashion icons have been Columbusing the very things Black people created to “affirm our identities and voices” — from our hairstyles to our street wear to our music.
“But at the same time,” she says, “police brutality against Black people came to the forefront … white musicians who partook in hip-hop culture and adopted ‘Blackness’ failed to speak on the racism that comes along with Black identity.” Amandla also flawlessly breaks down the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange. “Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalizations or stereotypes where it originated, but is deemed as high fashion, cool, or funny when the privileged take it for themselves.”
Girl better tell it! #MicDrop
Watch the entire video below:
What did you think of the video? How do you feel when white people appropriate our culture?