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Cultural Appropriation : The Trend of Black Culture

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Briana Hemphill

on 6 November 2013

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Transcript of Cultural Appropriation : The Trend of Black Culture

Cultural Appropriation : The Trend of Black Culture
What is Cultural Appropriation?
The adoption or theft of symbols, traditions, rituals, aesthetic standards and behavior
Generally applied when the subject culture is subordinate
Done with no understanding or acknowledgment of the history and significance of the action/symbol
Negro National Anthem
Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.
Before you Leave!
Add your name to the Listserv
Talk to E-Board Members
Join a Committee
Become a member!!
Scenario 1
Sophia is an Italian American woman from New Haven, Connecticut. She attended Wesleyan University. For her 24th birthday she had an “Asian” themed party where guests dressed up as samurais, geishas and Jet Li. There were chopsticks, fortune cookies and sushi.
Scenario 2
Stan is a Dutch American born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin. His mother is an Anesthesiologist and his father is an accountant. They have been married for 15 years. He has one older sister who attends the University of Pennsylvania. He loves rap music and can often be heard reciting the lyrics of his favorite rapper, 2 Chainz. He is usually seen wearing fitted caps, always has the new Jordans and prefers to speak in an urban accent. He has asked for gold grills for Christmas.
Scenario 3
Blanche is a French Canadian woman who currently lives in Toronto, Canada. Recently, she visited a friend from college in Taiwan for 4 and a half months. While she was there she learned about and took part in the Lantern Festival. Upon returning to Canada, she incorporated the tradition into her wedding. Having each of her guests write a wish on a card and send the card attached to a lantern into the sky
Why is it done?
Objects/traditions of marginalized cultures are seen as exotic, edgy and trendy
Curiosity about a culture, usually in an aesthetic sense
It reinforces stereotypes that contribute to the mistreatment of marginalized people
The same thought process that justifies "borrowing" a group's culture is the same one that justified borrowing its land/resources/people
Ignores the realities of those people
Why is it harmful?
(Lol its just a costume!)
We are a Culture, Not a Costume
Orange is the New Blackface
This is Africa?
"Dressing up in cheetah skin and beads in order to look "African" reduces an entire continent... to a horrible stereotype"
Ghetto Tours
A Bus Tour Company offering "ghetto tours"
"The tour's description states that when thinking of the Bronx, people envision when the borough "was notorious for drugs, gangs, crime and murders." It promises to take visitors on a three-hour journey into "this diverse and mysterious borough called the Bronx." cnn.com
The tour was shut down following a letter from Bronx officials and the loss of its advertising due to the outrage

Thank You For Coming!

In Music.
Inspiration or....
She was like "I Want urban, I just want something that feels black." -Miley Cyrus, as quoted by the writers of We Can't Stop, the Thomas Brothers
11/9: Adopt-A-Block

11/12: Diversity University

11/17: Membership Potluck!
What Can We Do?
(Call To Action)
Respect the history of other cultures
Respectfully and calmly point out and educate
Make an effort to learn and acknowledge cultural history
Stay aware of privilege
Do NOT excuse impact because of intent
Do NOT remain silent
Do we/Should we "Let it slide"?
Where should we draw the line?
Full transcript