You know what grinds my gears? Black Americans who use African culture as an accessory. It pisses me off beyond belief to see so many black people painting their faces, tattooing sacred totems and even throwing a dashiki on without any knowledge of why Africans did and wore these things. How about you stop and ask! Ask an African, ask Google - heck just do some damn research before showing up at festivals like Afropunk and rocking the ‘African look’ to just fit in with the crowd.
Our heritage isn’t a fad. Our heritage isn’t relevant just because you have a festival or attach some kente cloth on your graduation cap! My ancestors died because they were African! They were colonized and oppressed in their own land! The songs, the art, the fabric all tell the stories of our history. Yes, that print, that mask, that totem, that symbolism that you oh so casually wear because it’s en vogue is not for you!
Yes, for as long as you don’t understand the reasoning behind these cultural symbols: DON’T wear them, DON’T tattoo them, DON’T claim them as your heritage! I’m so over this summer and all these wanna be Africans. We aren’t a fashion trend that’s about to dissipate once the fall comes through, it’s OUR identity. So yeah - next time you want to wear that print or give yourself a Sankofa tattoo, do your research first!
Three women going through life