This past weekend, Kylie Jenner posted a picture to her Instagram of herself with cornrow braids. Amandla Stenberg an African American actress best known for her appearance in The Hunger Games claimed Jenner was “Appropriating Black culture.” She as well as many African Americans believe that when white people use black styles they should give credit to the culture it came from.
Stenberg asked the question “what if America loved black people as much as it loves black culture?” Is there really such a thing as seperate white and black cultures in America? We have been closely tied together for almost 400 years and the amount of exchange and sharing so deep as to question such a proposition. It appears that instead we have created a unique American culture, a blend of both European and African.
Yahoo Beauty writer Kristen Booker discussing the Jenner incident says people “must stop pirating other people’s ideas as our own.” However Jenner did not claim that she or white people created the cornrow look. To say that she pirated it is ridiculous.
I wonder if she would feel the same way if someone asked that she do the same. What if she had to credit “White Culture” for creating the computer and Internet that allows her to share her views with the world? Can you imagine the furor that would erupt if white people demanded that black NBA stars give credit to Basketballs white inventor for the wealth they have earned?
Stenberg and Bookers demands that we recognize where we received anything our race didn’t create would take an input damage amount of our time and effort. It is also a one way street where only white people would have to do so. Doing so will not lead to healing or pride but only further division and anger. It is time for Americans to stand united and be proud of the culture we have created together.