#Podbyky Epi 8 “Understanding Cultural Appropriation”

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On this episode of Lifestyle By Ky, I am joined by Kadia, an amazing blogger and lifestyle and culture contributor as well as Myleka an Educator and my best friend and we talk candidly about Cultural Appropriation, the danger of ignoring it, and the excessive use of the N word. The discussion is guided by Jessie Williams speech during the BET awards, where he broke down for us all, why we are sick and tired of people wearing our culture like costumes and not respecting it or us! Hope you enjoy!

Understanding Cultural Appropriation

Appreciation or Appropriation? This week I tackle the issue of Cultural Appropriation and the excessive use of The N word in the black community with my amazing guests Kadia and Myleka. These discussions are important to have because people need to know this is a real issue, it’s deep rooted, and it has some dangerous ramifications.

Why are we mad? Well, there are some people in the world that strip us of our culture, then turn around and profit from our culture (the same culture that they ridicule), and then try to make it their own. The Plunder is real. For example, check out this video that Cosmo just released about “the new trend.”God knows we’ve been wearing braids for years, why is this new? why isn’t a black woman one of the models? We’re mad because we are being erased in a sense, or deemed not good enough to partake in our own culture, especially in main stream media.

To drive the conversation forward, I used Jessie Williams speech from the 2016 BET awards. He said so eloquently :

” We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real”

I asked my guest the following question, What was one of the most offensive acts of cultural appropriation in pop culture? And now I can actually answer this question for myself and say, the worst occurrence, in my opinion, happened this week, where Melania Trump plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech and then lied about it. Huh? Really? I shot this podcast a week before the Melania Trump scandal, but I am pissed about this. Is this presidential race a joke? Like seriously, why do we have to fight so hard for everything we have, for everything we work so hard to attain, and why are some people so entitled to just take, take, take from us every chance they get?

Anyway, that was just some back story. The podcast is below. Hope you enjoy!!!!

Podbyky

 

 

 

By Ky Books: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl


IMG_3683.JPGThe Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, is probably one of the most enjoyable books I’ve ever read, primarily because I can relate. This hilarious book by Issa Rae is a new generational way of looking at race in today’s society. Issa Rae takes us on an intimate journey of her life from her humble beginnings in Senegal to her upper middle class lifestyle in Los Angeles. We learn what it means to be a black woman and to feel awkward at the same time. What I loved most about this book besides its hilarious humor was Issa’s conversations about race whether it’s addressing the type of black people you will always encounter or her struggle of being too black to some and not black enough to others.

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Colorism

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The below excerpt is my first attempt at writing about the issue of Colorism, during my sophomore year in college. I’ll share with you the first three pages of this 20-page research paper. This essay along with a few others eventually helped me win the Excellence in Communication Award at Penn State. If you decide you would like to read more about Colorism, please read the book The Color Complex, it’s one of the most thought provoking books I’ve ever read regarding this issue:

Colorism

April 2008

If you’re black get back/if you’re brown stick around/ if your light you’re all right.

Being Black or being White has historically separated people in America and around the world but what many people fail to realize or even acknowledge, is a gap has been bridged within the black race as a result of the differentiation and discrimination based on skin tones. Colorism is the coined word to describe the dirty little secret that our community perpetuates through its idealizations of Eurocentric beauty standards and denouncement of Afrocentric standards of beauty. Skin complexion, hair type, and body image have always been conscious issues for African American’s but it is the root of self-loathing and low self-esteem as well. This form of intra-racism has proved to be psychologically detrimental to African Americans sense of self. Colorism is immoral, unethical and undeniably one of the reasons why black people do not feel accepted within their own race. It promotes insecurity and inequality because people are no longer being judged by their intelligence or capabilities; they are being judged by the lightness or darkness of their skin. If we are going to successfully progress into a bright future we need to learn and understand our history. If more African Americans took the time to understand their troubled past they would understand that colorism is essentially a construct and does not dictate the type of person you are, nor does it dictate your self worth. Understanding the dark history behind colorism is one of the first steps towards progress. The next step towards progress is acceptance. The internalized self-hate one feels towards oneself because other members in society deem them inferior is one of the reasons why we may never advance towards a society that does not judge people based on the color of their skin. Accepting that being black is not necessarily a dilemma but an armor you should wear with pride is foremost. Continue reading “Colorism”

Celebrating Black History

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It all happened pretty quickly. On Jan 9th, I talked casually to my friend about the state of being black in America. We addressed everything from slavery, to affirmative action, to the downfall of Bill Cosby. As black women we have to think about these issues through two lenses, race and gender. The intersectionality of race and gender is what the intellectuals in academia call it. The following week, I went to see Kevin Powell speak at the Brooklyn Historical Society and was enamored by his thought-provoking conversation. I was also very proud that he spoke about the same things my friend and I talked about just the week before. From there, I decided to delve further into my knowledge of black history. Not that I don’t know enough as it is (I know enough to make my little mind go insane), but I wanted to dive just a little deeper. So I took the plunge. I spent the last few weeks, reading, writing, watching, and conversing about black history and the current state of black men and women in America. It was then that I understood how important the conversation is to have.

This February is going to be very significant for the Lifestyle By Ky Blog. It marks the start of Black History Month, a special month filled with pride and remembrance of what my ancestors did for you and I so we could have a better life. From enduring the harsh ramifications of slavery to the senseless violence of the Civil Rights era, they sacrificed for us so we could have the freedoms that we enjoy today and will continue to build on in the future. Continue reading “Celebrating Black History”