Amandla Stenberg Speaks Out About Cultural Appropriation

Amandla Stenberg Speaks Out About Cultural Appropriation

Marie Bobb, Staff Writer

If you are a user of Tumblr, Twitter or Instagram you might have seen screen-caps of Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg’s viral video. This video gave a deep explanation of what exactly cultural appropriation is. Stenberg was basically pointing out all the wrongs of “stealing” characteristics of other cultures. In this video she called out famous musicians Katy Perry for her countless music videos appropriating cultures and Miley Cyrus for using black women as props in her music videos. Throughout the whole video, I couldn’t help but applaud her for stating facts that I have been thinking for the longest.

“I didn’t even know what cultural appropriation was until this video and it actually taught me a lot,” said Alicia Newby, a sophomore.

For those who are confused with the term “cultural appropriation,” it means the adoption of an oppressed people’s cultural elements by members of the dominant culture, or by members of any culture that has historically oppressed the peoples of the originating culture. If you were to go to a Halloween party and see someone dressed in a traditional Native American outfit, for example, but they are not a part of that culture, you are witnessing cultural appropriation. This is something that has been going on the longest but few actually took the time to speak about it which made it seem as though it wasn’t such a big deal.

Partaking in activities or taking it upon yourself to rep another culture should be highly looked down upon. You shouldn’t make anyones culture an accessory just because it seems “cool” or “stylish,” especially if your culture is already viewed as inferior to the culture you are mimicking. Amandla called out these people who may do this without realizing and even those who are aware but they don’t have the courtesy to stop. This video stated many things that were meant to be said but often looked over. She ended the video with a chilling question, “What if they loved black people as much as they love black culture?”