16 year-old Amandla Sternberg is best known for her role as the unassuming, quietly badass Rue in The Hunger Games. Just like how her character becomes a symbol for good triumphing over evil, Amandla Sternberg is tackling political issues IRL too, by calling out the pop music and fashion industries for their appropriation of black culture.
In a video the star posted to her Tumblr page – which is issues-driven and worth checking out – Sternberg tries to unpack the question: “What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we love black culture?”
Sternberg explains that, as hip hop became popular, so did black culture, and with it the stylistic talisman of the culture. She pays specific reference to cornrows, and how, via the likes of Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus, they have become so far removed from their original cultural meaning, that their use is offensive.
“Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalizations or stereotypes where it originated but is deemed as high-fashion, cool or funny when the privileged take it for themselves,” explains Sternberg.
Sternberg makes reference to Azealia Banks, and her Twitter campaign against cultural appropriation, which we discuss in detail over here. This conversation is particularly relevant right now – although also all the time – because Coachella, the global hotspot for cultural appropriation in fashion, has just gone down. Watch Sternberg’s video in full, below.
Via Dazed Digital
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