I read an interesting tweet last week that expressed this sentiment:
“It’s too bad our society does not like black people as it much as it loves black culture.”
What a great comment. And oh so true. Despite the deplorable history of this country when it comes to how blacks have been treated, when it comes to determining what is hip and cool, our country turns to black culture.
So, so ironic.
Our musical art forms, from rock to jazz to rap, have been born out of black culture. Even Elvis admitted that he mimicked black music and dance. Our fashion, our slang and language is led by what kids in urban black neighborhoods are doing and wearing. Teens in high schools all across America, even white, suburban ones, take on fashion styles and use lingo black kids started. Let’s face it, Justin Bieber is not mimicking Asian or Hispanic culture with his music and fashion choices.
The truth is, American black culture is one of this country’s biggest exports and symbols of youth. Essentially, black people set the standard for cool.
Imitation is viewed as the sincerest form of flattery, yet somehow, this flattery does not expand to include the individual people that compose that black community and culture. Elvis, the Beatles, Justin Bieber, the Rolling Stones can all take on elements and style from blacks, as long as they aren’t black. America has found a way to honor a culture while mistreating its people.
Apparently, in the eyes of America, black people and culture are cool. Black individuals...well that’s a whole different thing.
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