Wayment (Wait a minute). Yall. We still doing that thing where Non-Black people try to rock Black hairstyles? I am really ready for this trend to die out. Sadly, that trend is racism….sooooooo we are kinda at an impasse. Unless there is some simultaneous switch where everyone suddenly acknowledges their privilege and the events of the past five centuries. But since that is super unlikely to happen in my lifetime, I’m just gonna go ahead an address on my blog.
It should be simple. Sample conversation with a Non-Black person: “Hey Tori, I really like your dreadlocks. I am thinking of getting some, what do you think?” To which I would respond, “Thank you, don’t do that. Cultural Appropriation.” At this point, the conversation ends with the other person graciously thanking me for saving them from an outward expression of racism AND endless roasting by me and other members of the Black community. Alas, it’s never that simple. Sally Anne Margaret usually claims reverse racism (it doesn’t exist), does a whole bunch of whining, and goes and gets her hair locked-resulting in her looking like a sad fool. Now, before we get any further. I want to make sure the term “cultural appropriation” is understood. The Oxford Dictionary defines cultural appropriation as “the adoption of elements of one culture by members of a different cultural group, especially if the adoption is of an oppressed people’s cultural elements by members of the dominant culture”. There are some key words here I want us to pull out…OPPRESSED and DOMINANT. So in my world, the White culture is the dominant one and Black people are those being oppressed due to the hundreds and hundreds of years of systematic and institutionalized racism.
Alright. Moving on. To break it down further. If that explanation isn’t thorough enough for you, check this out. Black people are constantly crucified, judged, and called derogatory names for the same styles you are wearing and being praised for. And simply put. That’s not fair. Next. We aren’t getting any recognition for our ingenuity and creativity. Rihanna wore Bantu Knots and no one uttered a peep. Some white chick in a fashion magazine TRIES to do Bantu Knots and the whole world stops breathing because it’s the coolest thing they have ever seen. Like, what?! And the last thing I have to say about it is, Black people wearing straight hair or wigs or weaves is not the same thing. Eurocentric beauty ideals have been shoved down our throats since the day we opened our eyes. AND Furthermore, the dominant culture cannot be oppressed.
I am blessed to be Black and find so much beauty in it. So I can understand the desire to want to be able to experience it just a bit. Just experience it without exploiting it. Have open conversations with the Black people in your life about it. Recognize our struggles and praise our successes. And who knows, you may get invited to a Sunday dinner at a Black friend’s house…that’s pretty much a like a golden ticket to the Chocolate Factory.
Thanks for reading, until next time!!!