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YOUR VIEW: Cultural Appropriation Explained!

Heyyyyy It’s Ib!

How are you? Hope you’re good? Thank you to those of you who have been relating with me on Instagram. We love to see it!

Yo, so today I’m kinda bummed. I don’t think I’ve told you guys yet but I started driving lessons two weeks ago and it has been going really well but today! TODAY! TODAY!!! AFTER TWO WEEKS OF PERFECT STREAK, I climbed on the central reservation at the centre of the road. The thing that separates the two lanes. It was sad, I was disappointed.

Buttttttt, there’s good news everyone.

I’m Alive!

Yes, yes I know y’all would miss me too much.

Anyways, today we’re going into something that not a lot of people understand. I’ve had this discussion a lot of times with people and I always get different responses. Some people think it’s stupid, some people think it’s unnecessary while some think that it’s very necessary and that anyone who does it deserves to be CANCELLED! 🙅🏽‍♀️🙅🏽🙅🏽‍♂️‼️‼️🔱🔱🚫🚫❌❌

But we’re not all about violence here 😇.

So I selected 3 of my friends to express their thoughts and opinions on Cultural Appropriation and of course, different people with different opinions. Our guests for today are:

Chukwudumebi Agbam
18
Unilag
Model, rookie writer & copywriter
Hi, My name is Awele Itegbe🥰
I’m a Christian❤️
19 🎈
I’m in 200L Unilag
I’m elvis christian, 20, a student of the department of political science at the University of lagos, I love beyonce, chloeXhalle Megan Thee stallion and Sza. an ardent feminist. I like to sing and dance I work in television and I’m largely single.

Q/A

1. What does the term “Cultural Appropriation” mean to you?

Dumebi: To me, cultural appropriation is when a race tries to copy/mimic a thing of value in another race.

Elvis: Cultural appropriation from my perspective is a situation where the material or non material elements of a culture is being adopted by a dominant culture especially carelessly and without full knowledge of the said culture.

Awele: To me cultural appropriation is the adoption of elements of another culture (majorly by a more dominant one) which are usually seen as “unacceptable” or “ratchet” and using it as a trend /fashion.

2. At what point, does cultural appreciation become cultural appropriation?

Dumebi: I do not know when cultural appreciation becomes cultural appropriation because you do not know what the person doing it is thinking, you don’t if the person is doing because he/she likes it or if he/she is doing it to mock others. Although, most times when the latter is done it is obvious.

Elvis: From what I’ve seen and noticed, it moves from cultural appreciation to cultural appropriation when adopted elements of culture are adopted carelessly without research or treated as inferior.

Awele: I believe cultural appreciation becomes cultural appropriation when the elements of the culture in question are generally looked down on when done by the owners of the culture.

3. What’s your take on cultural appropriation? Do you think it’s real or necessary?

Dumebi: Honestly, I feel it is over exaggerated. I have never experienced cultural appropriation before so I would only speak on what I have observed. Recently, Adele posted a picture of herself on Bantu knots and there was an uproar on social media. People (African Americans) were screaming how she is appropriating their culture –mind you, most African Americans do not even know their African roots so how are they sure that she is appropriating their culture? What if some of the people shouting are Nigerians? Bantu knots did not originate from Nigeria. It originated from South Africa. So if at all anyone is supposed to be upset it should be the people from the particular culture she appropriated from– but at that point she wasn’t culturally appropriating, she was appreciating it because she wore it to celebrate a Jamaican festival in London. That’s why I feel it is exaggerated, they see a white person with braids and scream cultural appropriation, doesn’t it mean the white person likes the hair? I mean, if someone decides to get a hairstyle done it means he/she likes it right? Isn’t that promoting the culture?

Elvis: I personally feel in the global climate that we are in right now cultural appropriation is not something that is over exaggerated although I do believe that people could be over sensitive sometimes but culture is a way of life of a group of people if you must tap into or adopt a lifestyle or a pattern of life or a way of life that is particular to me or my people you must at least have the decency of paying respects and doing it respectfully.

Awele: Hmmm, I think it’s over exaggerated from my point of view but then again I don’t feel I’m in the best place to judge reason being that this is usually a problem for POC in non african countries.

4. Does it mean it’s wrong to engage with a different culture?

Dumebi: I don’t think it’s wrong to engage with a different culture. You should just know the meaning of something before you do it. I read an article of someone who dressed as an Indian god and got a lot of backlash because of it, that I support. You can not just go to a place as a foreigner and do something like that. That is just sheer ignorance. Like I said, before you try anything new that has to do with a different culture, make sure you know the meaning behind what you’re doing.

Elvis: Not at all, it’s not wrong to engage with a different culture where is wrong like I said earlier on, is when it’s done carelessly or treated as inferior or plain disrespect.

Awele: No, I don’t think it’s wrong to engage in other people’s culture.

5. Why is cultural appropriation still so much of a problem in this era of globalization?

Dumebi: People are ignorant. They just do things for aesthetic or for the gram. As much as this is a good thing because it promotes the particular culture, the people doing these appropriation should also know the meaning behind what they are doing.

Elvis: For my own personal opinion, I feel irrespective of how the world has largely become a global village for economic reasons, there’s still some aspects or elements of culture that are particular and dear to people, some material elements like clothing, festivals, titles and some non material elements like language, norms which are sacred. So irrespective of globalisation, you should treat people’s culture with respect if you must interact with it.

Awele: I personally do not have a problem with it but I feel people (mostly especially POC) see it as a problem because they’ve once been oppressed for those particular things appropriators use as trends.

6. What are the aspects of culture that can’t be appropriated?

Dumebi: Hairstyle, dressing

Elvis: Typical aspects of culture that could be appropriated can range from food to clothing, music to language and many more.

Awele: Any aspect of culture that has been looked down on can be appropriated.

7. What’s your take on black fishing?

Dumebi: I still don’t understand why people do that. I mean, speaking from a black person’s POV, they are literally the ones experiencing racism because of their skin so seeing a white person trying to be like them is kinda insulting.

Elvis: I feel it is utterly disgusting for white people to tan their own skin so that they look like black people when they’re the same people that have criticized, discriminated, killed, raped and enslaved black people for the colour of their own skin. NIKITA DRAGUN CAN CHOKE ON AIR!!!

Awele: Black fishing is totally wrong, I mean people should love their own skin color be it light or dark!

8. Should the entitled individuals who partake in cultural appropriation be considered as “racists”?

Dumebi: Well, it depends. If they are doing it because they like these things, then they shouldn’t be seen as racist but if it’s to mock the cultures of these people then they are indeed racist.

Elvis: The fundamental logic behind racism is treating one’s race superior to another so if you take aspects of other people’s culture and treat them carelessly and Express it disrespectfully, you’re racist.

Awele: I don’t think they should be considered as racists because some may not even know when they’ve crossed the line between appreciation and appropriation.

9. Is it fair to say that it’s only when members of major races try to incorporate the culture of the people from minor oppressed races that it becomes cultural appropriation but there’s nothing wrong in people from minor races incorporating the culture of major races?

Dumebi: No,any culture can be appropriated.

Elvis: I personally feel it’s largely impossible for oppressed races or minor races to seek to appropriate dominant culture. Many at times, it’s these dominant races or cultures there are always found appropriating minor cultures.

Awele: I don’t think it’s fair to say that but like I said before, I may not fully understand it because I don’t exactly know what they go through.

10. The sense of entitlement some white people feel towards saying the “n-word” can be interpreted as appropriation. Yay or Nay?

Dumebi: Um, I’m not exactly sure. But it’s racism. The N-word is a racial slur.

Elvis: Cultural appropriation is a nice way to put the way white people feel entitled to saying the n-word. It’s pure full-fledged arrant racism.

Awele: Definitely yay.

And that’s a wrap!

We love to see it!

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed that! I don’t know if it’s convinced you about cultural appropriation or confused you more but either ways, you’re welcome to share your thoughts!

Wishing you a lovely week ahead! Please pray I don’t hit anymore curbs on the road😂. Thank you!

Till next week, drops ink

Dumebi: Twitter: ddagbam
Instagram: dumebiagbam

Elvis: twitter: @_elvischristian
instagram: @elvischristian

Awele: Twitter: @itegbeirene
instagram: aweleeee_
linkedin: http://linkedin.com/in/awele-itegbe-3463a01b4

Blog: @itsib

By Ib Adepoju

I’m Adepoju Ibukun, a writer and student of University of Lagos, studying Real Estate. I’m a young adult trying to sort out life.

4 replies on “YOUR VIEW: Cultural Appropriation Explained!”

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