Popular Culture

Misappropriation of Black Culture? So About That New Taylor Swift Video…


Notice anything, oh, innerestin’ about the new Taylor Swift video presently heating up the blogosphere?

The Twitter masses have gotten together to wag a virtual finger at the images of White girl ballerinas and Black girl booty-shakers in T-Swizzle’s first, official pop video, “Shake It Off.” Leading the charge against, what he calls the perpetuation and caricature of stereotypes against Black people, was Odd Future emcee, Earl Sweatshirt. Always outspoken, Earl blasted the usually-country crooner as just another “White girl” jumping on the “I Act Black” bandwagon for street cred.

Or, in this case, pop cred:

Women like Iggy Azalea, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and now Taylor Swift have the luxury of being able to emulate what they perceive as “Blackness” when it’s convenient/lucrative for them without having to endure any of the day-to-day struggles of actually being a Black woman in America.

Must be nice.

The success of the Artist Formerly Known as Hannah Montana has made culture appropriation (“acting Black,” as if there is such a thing) the “It” craze of the moment. But as soon as “Valley Girl” accents are back in style, we’re sure Taylor will be trading in her rope chains for a return to her infamous guitar.

Note to Pop Princesses: Black culture is not an accessory that can be sexualized, misconstrued, worn for style’s sake and then discarded when it’s no longer fashionable.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this concept is one lost on the unconscious masses — both White and Black. Let’s just say Earl’s candid criticism of Swift didn’t gain him any new Twitter followers:


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