Black Women Would Appreciate If You Stopped Co-Opting Our Culture for Clicks
Our identity is not clickbait.
Can you appropriate and entire culture? Yes.
“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” No, that wasn’t just a soundbite from a Beyoncé song.
Malcolm X spoke these words in 1962, and 57 years later they still ring true. While on the surface, stories like the one about Isaiah Hickland posing as a black woman and gaining thousands of followers on Twitter might seem harmless. You might even chalk it up to just another crazy millennial trying to get internet notoriety, but it represents an unhealthy trend black women have been dealing with for decades.
People stealing our culture when it feels fun to them and then discarding it like a used rag when it no longer serves their purpose. It was only in 2015 that Rachel Dolezal was discovered to be posing as a black woman. She turned her skin darker, permed her hair, and boom, just like that she was black. All the fun without any of the responsibility. Breezing through life getting to live as a woman of color when it suits her fancy. It’s true that flattery is the highest compliment, but what lies beneath the story of “emoblackthot” is something much more sinister.
It’s the idea that black women are a commodity to be used when convenient for the perpetrator. It’s something that any black woman can tell you has been a chip on her shoulder since the day she was born. This idea that we need to be “sassy” and “soulful” and any other idea of black womanhood that has been thrown at us by people taking the smallest sampling of who we are and capitalizing off of it for a quick hit.