Cultural appropriation will always be a topic of conversation as long as we live in a society where the pop culture world will acknowledge the black culture, but not those who actually birthed it. Sixteen-year-old Amandla Stenberg, who played Rue in The Hunger Games, addresses the topic in a video she recorded for her history class.
The “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows” video is on her tumblr page and while the video has been on her page for a few months, it has recently gone viral.
She uses Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift as prime examples of how outsiders advertise black culture. She also acknowledges Azealia Banks and Iggy Azelea’s longstanding beef, ultimately siding with Banks.
“[In the 2010s,] pop stars and icons adopted black culture as a way of being edgy and gaining attention,” Stenberg says in the video. “In 2013, Miley Cyrus twerks and uses black women as props, and then in 2014, in one of her videos called ‘This Is How We Do,’ Katy Perry uses ebonics and hand gestures and eats watermelons while wearing cornrows before cutting inexplicably to a picture of Aretha Franklin. So as you can see, cultural appropriation was rampant.”
Stenberg end the video by saying, “I’ve been seeing this question a lot on social media, and I think it’s really relevant: ‘What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we love black culture?’”
You have to wonder, if a 16-year-old girl can see the problem in cultural appropriation, how is it that those who are causing the problem can’t? Watch the footage below and see if you agree with her points.
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