Wherein Naomi kindly informs someone that a white person wearing cornrows and a black person straightening their hair is not the same thing. She tried to do it with as little salt as possible, and ultimately fails.
Do you ever have to deal with a rather ignorant person, and you just look up at the sky and pray “Lord, give me the patience so I don’t slap someone’s child”.
I haven’t done this in such a long time. Mostly because no one has made me angry enough to get up on my soapbox and rant in a long time. Then I remembered it’s Black History Month, and I was like “shit”. So I wanted to write a little something about culture appropriation because, why not? This is somewhat off-topic because it’s a hair blog, but I’m going to talk about the meaning behind natural hair, so it’s somewhat relevant. Whatever, it’s my blog.
So a friend and I were talking, very casual and all, until the topic of culture appropriation came up.
Aren’t you appropriating white culture when you wear weaves or perm your hair?
Where do I even begin?
First, let me explain what assimilation means. Assimilation is when a marginalized group of people adopt aspects of the dominant culture for survival.
Alright so, lemme tell you a flashback of growing up black in a predominately white neighborhood. Wearing cornrows or box braids were looked down upon. Heavily, frowned upon. Like, it was not allowed in my school because it looked improper and unruly. This isn’t something that only I had to deal with. Sometimes black people can get fired from their jobs, for what? Wearing our hair the way it grows out of our heads?
And it’s not like commercials taught me anything different. They were always like “Appreciate your natural curly hair…by straightening it!” It was always selling us a chance to change, instead of embracing our African-American features.
So when black people wear weaves or straighten their hair, we adopt these traits that are considered White or “normal”, in order to get wealth, jobs, and acceptance. That’s not culture appropriation, that’s trying to survive.
this girl asked me if i appropriating white culture
Which, by the way, white culture is not a thing. There is no white pride days or white history month (I feel gross typing that), because being white is not an ethnicity. You can have Irish, German, or Scottish culture because race doesn’t equal culture. Culture has its own language and tradition.
Re-cap: Black people cannot appropriate white culture because assimilation is not the same as appropriation, and white culture does not exist.
Let me step off my soapbox for now. Next blogpost will actually be about hair. Promise.