Cultural appropriation.

Amanda Stenberg .

Powerful, Powerful girl. Someone who at the age of 16 or 17 is already a role -model to me who is at 21. Age really does not matter but her words are truly powerful for someone of her age.

So black hair has always been an essential component of black culture. Black hair requires upkeep in order for it to grow and remain healthy, so black women have always done their hair. It’s just a part of our identity: braids, locs, twists and cornrows, et cetera.

Cornrows are a really functional way of keeping black textured hair unknotted and neat, but like with style. So you can see why hair is such a big part of hip hop and rap culture. These are style of music which African American communities created in order to affirm our identities and our voices.

In the early 2000’s you saw many R&B stars wearing cornrows: Alicia Keys, Beyonce, R. Kelly and many more.

As hip hop became more and more popular integrated into pop culture, so did Black culture. Eminem’s album went four times platinum and he achieved immense success in hip hop the world. Black culture had become popular.

As the early 2000’s turned into 2010’s, white people began to wear clothing and accessories associated with hip hop, more and more celebrities could be seen wearing cornrows and braids and even grills. So by 2013, the fashion world had adopted cornrows as well. Cornrows and braids were seen on high fashion runways, for brands like Marchesa and Alexander McQueen and magazines editorial campaigns featuring cornrows as a new urban hairstyle.

Riff Raff came on to the scene, a suburban white middle class man who almost ironically took on a Black-set and wore braids and gold teeth. And then James Franco took inspiration from Riff Raff first of all Alien Spring Breakers. Hip hop stars and icons adopted Black culture as a way of being edgy and gaining attention.

In 2013, Miley Cyrus twerks and uses Black women as props and in 2014, in one of her videos called “This is How We Do”, Katy Perry uses ebonics and hand gestures, eats watermelons while wearing cornrows before cutting explicably to a picture of Aretha Franklin.


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