Tag Archives: Amandla Stenberg

Amandla Stenberg: Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows

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A crash course on cultural exchange vs cultural appropriation:

A video by 16 year old actor, Amandla Stenberg, who played Rue in the 2012 movie version of The Hunger Games has recently gone viral. The video, which was produced for her history class, discusses black culture and the issue of cultural appropriation. In the four and half minuted video, Stenberg not only gives a crash course explanation on Black American culture but also discusses the difference between cultural exchange and cultural appropriation.  In particular, Stenberg discusses the mainstreaming and adoption of Black culture by non-black pop culture icons and artists, while also noting their often silence on the very really social and political issues impacting on Black Americans, including institutionalised racism, police violence and police brutality.   At the end of the video, Stenberg notes the willingness of non-Black pop artists and icons to adopt Black culture while failing to offer solidarity with the Black community struggling against police brutality, pointedly asking: “What would America be like if it loved black people as much as it loves black culture?”