HuffPo: Whites Using Black Hairstyles is Cultural Appropriation; Blacks Using White Hairstyles is Not

An article appearing in the Huffington Post this week claimed that “cultural appropriation” does not work both ways. Specifically, it is not okay for white people to use the culture of African Americans because they “trivialize” it. However, it is okay for African Americans to use the culture of white people because black people are oppressed.

The article, titled “Cultural Appropriation: It’s Not About Kylie Jenner’s Braids,” was written by Kadia Blagrove. Blagrove begins by explaining what “cultural appropriation” is and is not.

Here’s what Cultural Appropriation is,” she writes, emphasis hers, “A dominant group adopting/trivializing elements of a culture without acknowledging the existence of its original source, especially when the adopted culture belongs to an oppressed group.

“Here’s what it is not: Black girls wearing blonde wigs and weaves.”
Ms. Blagrove’s Twitter profile picture
African Americans must use the culture of Europeans, Ms. Blagrove explains, because “black people were (and still are) shamed and ostracized for our natural kinky, curly, and “untamed” locks.”

Ms. Blagrove continues, “In this country alone, there is a clear disparity between whites and non-whites on screen,” apparently unaware that, according to easily found statistics, there are more Caucasian people in the United States than there are non-Caucasian. “This means, most Americans are shown only a limited perspective of our world,” she adds.

White people need to celebrate black culture if they are to use any aspect of it, she writes. “The moment mainstream media respectfully recognizes, acknowledges and represents the source, purpose, and most importantly the people behind different cultures, rather than reduce it to just costumes or hot trends, is the moment we can begin to define “cultural exchange,” Ms. Blagrove writes.

She concludes, “Until then, #DontEraseMe.”


Founder and editor of the Social Memo

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