As a Traditional African American Griot, ah’m not confused when it comes to whut some are callin Cultural Approiation.
What’s goin on here is a misunderstanding of the power of black culture. That power has been evident every since African Americans started sharing their culture globally.
People across the world are drawn to black culture, in many ways, for many reasons. Being a New Awlins musician, I was taught that our culture is a gift to be shared, from our looks to our language to our music, and on down the line.
In the south, we say, you may imitate me, but, you’ll nevah evah duplicate me. That being said, there are aspects of black culture that is off limits to outsiders. Some are spiritual. Some are social. Some are family. Some are sacred. Some are cherised, time honored, Ancestral traditions, which means, if you step ovah the lines, you gon cause some tension.
My advice? Know what you doin b’fo you do it. I don’t know the author of this picture, but, it pretty well sums up how a Lotta young African Americans feel about the subject. Pretty much because of the horrors of American slavery, which defined the total black self, hair and all, as non human.
Then, to turn around and see some white folk taking the liberty of pickin and choosin whut aspects of black culture they’re goin to embrace doesn’t sit well with some black folk. For them, black culture is more than swagger, or style. It goes to the very way in which they define themselves, both socially and spiritually.