Black America, please stop appropriating African clothing and tribal marks.
Zipporah Gene


1. To take exclusive possession.

2. To take or make use of without authority or right.

The author of this article is asserting that we as black people in America (Africans in the diaspora) have no right to incorporate pieces of African culture into our “Americanized” lives, essentially because we, nor our parents or grandparents or even great grandparents for that matter were physically born on the continent of Africa. Thus, my reading between the lines allows me to reach only this one conclusion: we aren’t “African enough”. This argument is faulty because it overlooks an ocean sized (Atlantic Ocean sized) piece of was by no fault of our own that we were forcefully brought to the West and stripped of our cultural identity. We should not be shamed for grabbing on to pieces of our cultural memories. You’re right, maybe we don’t know the meaning or purpose for each garb, or maybe we don’t know what face marking is for what tribe..but what should be clear is that there is a longing to reconnect there. Me wearing an African print being compared to a white person as ‘similarly appropriating’ is absurd. Because unlike the white person I am African. I don’t know if you feel that because we had several generations that were born stateside that, that somehow diluted our ‘African-ness’ and we are now so watered down that we no longer good enough, but I say no to that. I say no to your statement that unless you have a real affiliation then you should not adorn yourself with African clothing. Well my affiliation is my DNA, just like yours it will prove that I come from Africa. It doesn’t matter where my feet are now, the blood that runs through my veins proves that I am still just as African as you. What’s even more sad is, I feel like this is just another way that we are dividing ourselves. Welcome each other by teaching each other.