I asked Pop once why he didn’t want people to curse in his shop…why’d we have to wear these ugly smocks. He said, “these kids need to see a man go to work every day… and to be in the presence of men in uniform putting in work.” - Luke Cage
White people really do not understand the idea of cultural appropriation so I’m gonna explain it to you one y’alls level okay? Bc the absurdity of these counter-arguments I’m getting is out of hand, and I’m tired of arguing with people so far beneath my level on a subject that harms me more than them.
You live in a little village where everyone is identified by the clothes they wear. Everyone in the village has a blue shirt. Your family has a blue shirt with polka dots on it. The people in your village eat lots of tasty yellow fruit with a special mixture of spices and pray to a fruit god every time you eat them. You also eat lots of nuts, but that’s not as important. This is your village’s culture.
There is rumored to be a village to the west of you, where everyone is given a special toy shaped like an animal when they are born. It is very important to every individual, and means a lot to them. They keep it and polish it all their lives, and it is burned when they die. They eat special starchy balls full of meat, but also once a month,make a drink that honors their dead. This is their culture.
The two villages have grown bigger and bigger over time, which makes them spread closer and closer to eaach other. There are no big territorial battles- the two villages like each other and sometimes share resources. If someone from the first village passes through the second, someone might give them some of their food for the trip and vice versa, so now some people in each village like and sometimes make the food of the other. A few people who have made close friends with people in the other village begin wearing colored shirts like them, or giving their children a special animal doll because someone from that village explained why that was special and invited them to do so. Things from each culture are shared with respect and friendship, and this happened naturally. This is CULTURAL INTEGRATION.
The shirt-wearing village considers itself bigger and stronger. They have invented spears that help them hunt, but think maybe hunting would be even easier if they had more wood from the other villages territory, and less competition. So they decide to invade, fight and kill people in the animal-doll village. They kill some of their stronger warriors and subdue the rest of the villagers. When they are done, they let these villagers into their village as long as they agree to stop carving animal dolls, as long as they agree to learn their language, and as long as they agree to eat and dress like them, and leave their culture behind. This is CULTURAL ASSIMILATION.
People from the two villages see each other from time to time but aren’t all that friendly. The shirt-wearing village likes the look of the dolls from the animal-doll village, and decides to make their own just like them, without asking. They’ve heard the dolls have a complex ceremony and meaning, but they don’t care. To the animal-doll village’s dismay, they learn that the shirt-wearers have been making ‘soulless’ animal dolls that are not connected to a villager, are not prayed over the right way, and in their belief is a dead and cursed thing. They never asked, and they did not follow the rules. In the meantime, many shirt-wearers steal fish from the animal-doll village’s fishing cages, stomp on their crops for fun when they are drunk, and make rude faces at them when they see them in the fields. They learn how to make the special drink they commune with the dead with, but drink it all the time, carelessly, and still won’t talk nicely to the animal-doll village people. They are mostly disrespectful, but still take things from the other village without being nice to them, and without asking. They enjoy the things the animal-doll people make, but do not enjoy them, and cause them suffering. This is CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.
You, a shirt-wearer with a blue spotted shirt, are playing with a toy. Another child comes up to you and in a friendly manner, asks to play. You hand them your toy. This is sharing.
Another day, a different child with a red shirt points at your blue shirt, makes fun of it, and takes your toy. This is stealing. This is more like Cultural Appropriation.
You guys need to learn that there are more ways for a culture to spread than just Appropriation. Cultural Appropriation is not ‘the sharing of a culture’. Fighting Cultural Appropriation does not keep cultures from evolving. It is simply pointing out that consent matters with culture, too, and when you take something from a culture you still disrespect and oppress, it’s not consensual, and the people do not have to let you do it.
We’re in the bleachers of First Friday You’re upset You’re going off about one of
my stupid bets 'Cause no one can take your comments like I do I’m in the woods Waiting for you to return I’m looking at the prince and his motorcycle
You seem to like But he’ll never know your story like I do’
But he wears armor I wear fishing boots He’s the silver prince And I’m the fisher boy Dreaming about the day when you wake up And find that what you’re looking for has been here in the Stilts
If you can see I’m the one who really knows you Been here all along so why can’t you see You belong with me You belong with me
Walkin’ the town with you and your worn-out boots I can’t help thinking this is how it ought to be
Picking pockets with you thinking to myself Hey isn’t this easy
And you’ve got opinions that could turn around this whole world I haven’t seen it in a while since he took you away You say your fine I know you better then that Hey what you doing with a Silver guy like that
He wears armor I wear fishing boots He’s the Silver Prince
And I’m the fisher boy Dreaming about the day when you wake up And find that what what you’re looking for has been here in the Stilts
If you can see that I’m the one who understands you Been here all along so why can’t you see You belong with me
Standing by and waiting for your return All this time how could you not know Mare Molly, you belong with me You belong with me
Oh, I remember you taking care of me even in the middle of our fights I’m the one who makes you laugh When you know you’re about to cry And I know your dream country And you tell me about your dreams I think I know where you belong I think I know it’s with me
Can’t you see that I’m the one who understands you Been here all along so why can’t you see You belong with me
Standing by and waiting for your return All this time How could you not know Mare Molly, you belong with me You belong with me
You belong with me Have you ever thought just maybe You belong with me You belong with me
My dad’s an actor and I grew up in the Labyrinth Theater Company. Philip Seymour Hoffman was the artistic director [and he would give the note] “you’re acting”. And I remember being eleven and being like what? Aren’t we actors?
– Jasmine Cephas Jones (Hamilton) talks a little bit about what she learned from dad Ron Cephas Jones’ (Luke Cage) career. Cool to see them both really break through this year!