So in my English class, we are planning a cultural celebration where everyone brings in food from their culture (I originally wanted to bring baked mac and chains 🙃, but I decided on Candied Yams). So at the end of the update my teacher gave, she goes “feel free to wear clothing from your culture. I’m wearing a dashiki!!!” That’s when I started to side eye her cuz 1) You are a White-American. You have no business wearing a dashiki ?!?!?!?. But I decided to let it slide because it was gifted to her by a classmate (they’re Black) who recently vacationed in Africa (not sure which country).
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse she goes “ooh! Does anyone want to braid my hair? You know, I can’t just a wear a dashiki with *moves hands around head* nothing on top!” I KID YOU NOT. Meanwhile, Black telepathy kicked in, and every Black person in the class looked at each other like:
Now this a woman who co-supervises our Intersectional Feminist club, but she just so happened to be absent the day we had a meeting on cultural appropriation. Boy, how I wish she had been there 😒.
Black Americans Appropriating African Culture: Miss Me With This In-House Fuckery Please
The extremely unjustified and divisive uproar overheard from Africans chastising Black Americans for appropriating various African cultures – in spite of our long, common history of being at the business end of an oppressor’s weapon – is a testament to the inherent prowess of being a magical Black American (Note: it shouldn’t have to be said, but this post does not mean I’m denying or ignoring the amazing feats or experiences respective to other races and cultures).
The fact of the matter is simple: few people want nor expect to see a group of people so forcefully stripped, traumatized, and far removed from just about every facet of the human experience show up and CONSISTENTLY STUNT like we do – in all ways, in all places, on every fucking level – especially when the witness has a hand in the oppression and thinks they’re in control of your game.
This phenomenon confuses the fuck out of everybody, clearly, even some of our own African brothers and sisters as we’re seeing. They just don’t know how to feel! One minute they’re obsessed with your sound, your swag, your walk, your talk, literally your biggest fans; but the next minute – usually following some sort of achievement or period of great accomplishment for a Black American that may or may not have inadvertently slighted them in some way – they mad af, crying “reverse racism,” “cultural appropriation,” backstabbing, #alllivesmatter, and reaching above and beyond to shut you down… Why tho?? I guess there really is a thin line between love and hate! Maybe it hurts to be in the presence of greatness because you aren’t worthy to see the face of God, who knows?
If you don’t consider yourself an oppressor, ask yourself, what benefit do you get out of making oppressed people to be villains in some way? How does casting yourself as a victim to Black Americans help you sleep better at night or navigate the physical and metaphysical landscapes?
Please, one of you zealous folks enlighten me as to what good is directly coming out of your tense public outbursts and insensitivity towards a very complex and delicate issue, regarding our mostly unknown and intentionally obliterated heritage? Who exactly are you trying to make aware of these crimes of fashion by Black Americans? What’s your desired resolution/punishment for such offenses as rocking a Dashiki to Afropunk, or in other words, how much do Black Americans now owe you too, and are you willing to stand in a centuries-old line of people waiting for us to pay these massive sums of debt we never asked anyone to borrow or intended to steal??
Folks always manage to paint us blacks in a negative light somehow, like they’re just waiting for a nigga to fuck up on some weak shit so they can judge and condemn us all, while also believing they’re not active agents of racism in the process! I believe it stems from people – sadly including portions of the African diaspora, other POC, and the non-black LGBTQ set – infuriated over the fact that even though they constantly force us onto a boat, capsize it, douse it in gasoline, and set it on fire for entertainment while simultaneously exploiting and duplicating all of our natural resources and faculties, SOMEHOW we just keep fucking swimming.
Then when we finally make it to shore after all the struggling, we’re typically running faster, jumping higher, and singing greater than everybody that was already on land relishing in our demise to boot. A lot of people call such resilience “awesome,” but some would rather work hard at making it more improbable, if not impossible for us. Instead of celebrating our victories and ability to overcome, they would rather be angry and hateful towards us for their own failures and inability to defeat us.
If you got some slick shit to say about the world’s most hated, abused, exploited, and oppressed culture, it’s certainly not because there’s anything new to be added to the list that humanity hasn’t heard a million times before and Blacks have proven to be wrong a billion times more, so just admit it: you are shitting your pants because somebody you’re trying your damnedest to trip, obstruct, or imprison still keeps outdoing you in every aspect of your pathetic little existence that you failed to find substantial meaning in for yourself; lest a black person dare find meaning and victory while cordoned off in a sea of their family’s blood, broken bones, and ashes. A tide that has yet to stop rising as people continue to freely make violent offerings to it, like a state-sanctioned wishing well of great oppression.
Black people in America are not the world’s cultural piñata… and trust, y'all are not ready for us to swing back while you’re busy hoarding and trying to sell the shit we drop, then chiding us when we want to play at the party we were not invited, but forced to go to. Please stop while you’re ahead.