Amandla Stenberg: Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows

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Amandla Stenberg: Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows

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[Amandla Stenberg: Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows]

[Amandla Stenberg:] Source: LYBIO.net
So black hair has always been an essential component of black culture. Black hair requires upkeep in order for it to grow and remain healthy, so black women have always done their hair. It’s just a part of our identity: braids, locs, twists and cornrows, et cetera.

Cornrows are a really functional way of keeping black textured hair unknotted and neat, but like with style. So you can see why hair is such a big part of hip hop and rap culture. These are style of music which African American communities created in order to affirm our identities and our voices.

In the early 2000’s you saw many R&B stars wearing cornrows: Alicia Keys, Beyonce, R. Kelly and many more.

As hip hop became more and more popular integrated into pop culture, so did Black culture. Eminem’s album went four times platinum and he achieved immense success in hip hop the world. Black culture had become popular.

As the early 2000’s turned into 2010’s, white people began to wear clothing and accessories associated with hip hop, more and more celebrities could be seen wearing cornrows and braids and even grills. So by 2013, the fashion world had adopted cornrows as well. Cornrows and braids were seen on high fashion runways, for brands like Marchesa and Alexander McQueen and magazines editorial campaigns featuring cornrows as a new urban hairstyle.

Riff Raff came on to the scene, a suburban white middle class man who almost ironically took on a Black-set and wore braids and gold teeth. And then James Franco took inspiration from Riff Raff first of all Alien Spring Breakers. Hip hop stars and icons adopted Black culture as a way of being edgy and gaining attention.

In 2013, Miley Cyrus twerks and uses Black women as props and in 2014, in one of her videos called “This is How We Do”, Katy Perry uses ebonics and hand gestures, eats watermelons while wearing cornrows before cutting explicably to a picture of Aretha Franklin.

[Katy Perry (video clip):]
I see you…

[Amandla Stenberg:] Source: LYBIO.net
So as you can see cultural appropriation was rampant.

[Taylor Swift – Shake It Off (video clip):]

[Amandla Stenberg:]
Not only were white people becoming rappers but they were excelling in the world of hip hop. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis song ‘Thrift Shop’ garnered number one spot on Billboards year end for 2013 and then Iggy Azalea’s song Fancy reached number one the following year. And in May 2014, Forbes released an article titled ‘Hip Hop’s unlikely new star, a white blonde Australian woman.’

[IGGY AZALEA – Fancy (video clip):]
Who that, who that?

[Amandla Stenberg:] Source: LYBIO.net
But at the same time, police brutality against Black people came to the forefront, in an incredible movement ignited by the murders of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Graner and many others, people began to protest institutionalized racism by marching and by using social media. Celebrities spread awareness and shared condolences, or at least some did, as Azealia Banks, a Black female rapper pointed out.

As Azealia Banks observed in her tweets white musicians who partook in hip hop culture and adopted “Blackness”, Iggy Azalea in particular, failed to speak on the racism that comes along with Black identity.

Banks Azealia feuded on Twitter until Banks participated interview on New York’s Hot 97.

[Azealia Amanda Banks:] Source: LYBIO.net
I have a problem when you’re trying to like say that it’s hip hop and you’re trying to like put it like up against black culture like it’s like cultural smudging, is what I see. All it says to white kids is like, oh yeah, you’re great, you’re amazing, you can do whatever you put your mind to. And it says to black kids, you don’t have, you don’t, not even shit you’ve created for yourself. And it makes me upset.

[Amandla Stenberg:]
That itself is what is so complicated when it comes to Black culture. I mean the line between cultural appropriation and cultural exchanges always going to be bad but here is the thing. Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalizations or stereotypes where it originated but is deemed as high fashion, cool or funny when the privileged take it for themselves. Appropriation occurs when the appropriator is not aware of the deep significance of the culture they are partaking in.

Hip hop stems from a black struggle, it stems from jazz and blues, styles of music which African-Americans created to retain humanity in the face of adversity, which itself stems from songs song used during slavery and to communicate and survive. On a smaller scale but in a similar vein, braids and cornrows are not merely stylistic. They’re necessary in order to keep black hair neat.

[Amandla Stenberg:] Source: L Y B I O . N E T
So 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?

Amandla Stenberg: Don't Cash Crop On My Cornrows

Amandla Stenberg: Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows

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Amandla Stenberg: Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows. What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we love black culture? Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.

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