"BLACK CULTURE"

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Elements of black culture and influence have been appropriated for many years at the expense of black people. Our community would like to believe that we have both the authority and audacity to intimately gate-keep our own culture. And while that is absolute, we can’t ignore the fact that white supremacy is deeply rooted in the blatant theft and appropriation of our history, music, fashion and quite frankly the biggest money maker, sports.

While white influencers are gaining more social media engagement, followers and even compensation for brand representation, our black influencers aren’t as privileged. Our culture is rich in authenticity and meaning, our voices amplified through content creation and the sometimes unsolicited fanaticism that follows our path by those who worship what Black people represent.

There has been a permanent stain in our country's history of minority cultures being infiltrated by more dominant members of American society. We also have to acknowledge that racism, sexism and patriarchy are just some root causes of the appropriation continuum, although rapid in growth in today's America. It appears that no amount of excessive verbal force will change the narrative that black culture is society's primary influence. I do believe, however, that there is no time like yesterday, today and tomorrow to turn loose our fear, rage and anger and prevail in search of newly developed ways that only melanated people know how to tap into, to stand out and stand tall. 

The time is now to exercise social and cultural engineering in spaces that are made for us, by us. We will no longer waste time “taking back our culture” from those that rob and take credit for our prized possessions and black lived experience. We will move in silence and always have the emotional intelligence and historical wisdom to know that ONLY black people can BE black people.


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