Black America, please stop appropriating African clothing and tribal marks.
Zipporah Gene
243339

While I am a young African-American woman, I understand where you are coming from. Moreover, I respect your passion, I respect your views, and I respect your reasons. I agree that African cultural traditions should not be fetishized and exoticized. People should not mimic tribal/ethnic marks as it is sacred to the ethnic group from which it was appropriated. I agree… even Black people (especially Black people).

Outside of that…. For many of us, incorporating traditional African textiles is a way of basking in our ancestral past. Our traditional ancestral culture was forbidden. Many of us view wearing traditional West African clothes (from any ethnic group) as a way of mending our past and our future. During a cultural movement, we see it as a sign of power. It is our way of showing our oppressors that **who** we are will always remain (hmmm… sort of like wearing our ancestors)… it is our lifeline.

I’d also like to point out cultural appropriation in African music and modern African culture as well… I, also, dislike the glamorization of gang culture in the ‘hood. There are African Hip Hop, R&B and Soul artists with “grillz” and low hanging pants mimicking African-American men from the hood. African men could never understand what it is like to be African descent in America and living in the hood. It is a completely different reality. It may seem insignificant but it is an aspect of our culture that has deep meaning (and deep scars).