There has been a lot of talk about Miley Cyrus and her sudden in black ratchet culture. Although I have strong opinions about her, she won’t be mentioned pass this paragraph. I already wrote an article about white girl cultural appropriation. This post was sparked by a tweet I saw that insinuated black people could appropriate black culture. My knee-jerk reaction caused me to deny that possibility. As I continued to think about it, I can to the conclusion that it could be a possibility.
Beyonce was the first person that came to mind. Months ago, Beyonce caused a heap of controversy when she released her single I Been On (Bow Down). This song showed a side of Bey that people have never seen before. She was brash, arrogant and….ratchet? At least, that’s the image she wanted to project.
I love me some Bey but frankly, she aint about that life and never has been. Unlike Jay-Z, who grew up in Marcy Projects and had to sling rocks back in the day, Beyonce had a relatively privilege upbringing. She lived in a big house with her parents, attended private school and was a pageant princess. Marrying Jay-Z is the closest she has been to the hood. It is definitely arguable that she is appropriating a culture that is regularly attributed to people way below her income bracket. Still, I have apprehensions about calling her a cultural appropriator. After all, ratchet culture is still black culture and it is also arguable that automatically attributing it to lower income people is problematic since it is normally seen as something negative. So what do we do? Do we call out Bey for claiming something she doesn’t know much about a la Miley Cyrus or do we take another approach?
In case you haven’t noticed, I have no clue how to tackle this so I will cut this post short and open it up for discussion. What do you think?