I’ve spent this week gathering some information for my study of cultural appropriation and I thought I should share some of my examples to get some input.
Based on your knowledge of Cultural Appropriation take a moment and view these examples. Be sure to comment what you think in the comments section or send your message in the contact form.
Jen and Casey got invited to a Halloween party with their four best friends. Jen and Casey were going to go as the girls from the movie the Cheetah Girls: One World (plot: the girls travel to India to be filmed in a Bollywood production). Is this acceptable to dress as the girls from the movie in similar attire, which would be seen in India (specifically in Bollywood productions?) The girls are wearing multi-colored sarees and heels. Jen is from India and Casey is from Spain. Does your answer change now that you know what their nationality/culture is? Does being where you are from make a difference?
It’s theme night at Benny’s school and Gabby’s roommate really wants to go, but the theme is ‘Clashing w/ the Religions’. Gabby knows this is not right because people should not be dressing up as someone else’s religion just for ’fun’. The people at Benny’s school are dressed up as nuns, priests, monks, and someone just posted on social media of a lady and a man dressed in a headscarf and a big tall black hat. Should the party be shut down or perhaps called out on for these actions? Or do people have the right to do what they want, when they want, and how they want when they please?
Celessia is a white female, but identifies with the black community (She was born to suburb white parents, but never felt like she fit in with her community. At a young age she ran away from home and turned to her peers in the city who were following their dreams making music and spinning for the hottest parties.) Celessia gets in some trouble with the authorities and is on trial for felony and drug trafficking as an adult. To the people, Celessia has box braids and a dark complexion, however Celessia never mentioned to the people that she is a white female. Do you think Celessia is appropriating black culture?
These are examples, some real, some made up, and all possible. I wanted to share with you all some examples rather than what we see in the entertainment business, on social media, in schools, or at work. Trust me, we will get to those because they are equally valuable and have a lot to do with society right now.
I generated some possibilities, but feel free to comment if you have more on WHERE cultural appropriation happens and WHY it happens.
Where does it happen?
- At Halloween parties
- Themed events
- In the arts (social media, visual arts, music, etc.)
- Entertainment Business
- Honestly, it could happen anywhere. It could be happening at your job, in your classroom, or even in your home and you don’t even realize it.
Why does it happen?
- No one has said anything to the person appropriating who may or may not know what they are doing
- For fun
- Impressing others
- People don’t know
What can you do, so far?
- Bring awareness
- Help others to understand why that was not “cool”
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