Video: Cultural Appropriation & Dreadlocks

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All photos courtesy of Photobucket.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a video on YouTube discussing cultural appropriation and dreadlocks.  Around Halloween, the subject of cultural appropriation becomes a hot topic.  Some people leave their brains at the door, and show up to parties wearing blackface, yellowface, Native American war bonnets, and all sorts of foolishness.  Are these examples of cultural appropriation?  You bet it is!  At the very least, it’s highly offensive.

But are dreadlocks considered cultural appropriation?  Should dreadlocks only be worn by black people?  Many people think that dreadlocks come from black culture, but this is not the case.  In this video, I share my thoughts on cultural appropriation and dreadlocks.

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Bob Marley helped to popularize dreadlocks in the United States

 

Do you think cultural appropriation exists?  Should dreadlocks only be worn by black people?  Please share in the comments.

Love & Shimmies,

Dasia Denise

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2 thoughts on “Video: Cultural Appropriation & Dreadlocks”

  1. Truth is, nobody actually owns culture, no matter where that culture comes from. There is nothing wrong with cultural appropriation because it’s a form of appreciation of other cultures outside of your own. The problem lies with how cultural appropriation is precieved these days as something that is owned by a certain group of people. The group Burning Spear in thier song ‘The Invasion’ spoke of how black people were taken from Africa by Europeans with ‘the intention to steal our culture’. This idea is popular, but simply wrong headed. It’s true that people make culture, but they do not own it, they cannot simply keep it for themselves. Humanity would not have come out of the caves and built civilisation as we know it today without appropriating cultural skills from one another. Indeed, that is how cultural diversity florishes and how multicultural societies are built. Without cultural appropriation, humans would still be living in caves.

    1. Thanks for commenting. I agree with what you say, but I think you’re speaking about cultural EXCHANGE. Cultural exchange is natural and happens all of the time. I didn’t delve into this in the video, but the problem is also the power imbalance with cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation is not a recent occurrence; this has been going on for years. For example, wearing an African hairstyle when you’re not of African descent is not the issue. The issue is claiming it and completely ignoring its African roots while ALSO demonizing people of African descent. The idea that an African hairstyle is acceptable on a white woman, while demonized on a black woman is a HUGE PROBLEM. I just don’t understand why it’s so hard to give credit when credit is due. Why try to claim something that you didn’t come up with? To wear a war bonnet for fashion while Native Americans are still fighting for their rights is disrespectful. I’m not sure what country you reside in, but nothing’s sacred in America. Everything is for profit here – this is a big problem with many people. I can’t say that I blame them. I appreciate your contribution to this discussion.

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