Black is beautiful. Depending on who you ask, black culture has an influence on pretty much everything, from movies to commercials, clothing to hairstyles, dictionaries to slang.
Hell, when you have your social studies teacher trying to do the Milly Rock while rapping the next assignment, you must consider the impact the black culture has on the entire world. One day, a non-Black friend asked if misuse of the culture bothers me.
Ap·pro·pri·ate: Take (something) for one’s use, typically without the owner’s permission.
In my lifetime, appropriation is an occurrence throughout Hollywood and everyday life. It is common. I mean, I have seen Hip-Hop dance movies where the leading characters were White and dance their little hearts out to music their parents hate while calling them “thugs.” Hell, I’ll admit I laughed at Malibu’s Most Wanted once. Meaning I laughed at one scene in the movie, that’s all, but I laughed. I’ve watched little animal puppets rap the alphabet on kid shows, offbeat while an old White lady claps along.
I’ve even seen videos of elder White pastors exclaiming “Jesus is my nigga!” In real life, I’ve seen a White woman get upset at her child’s Black father for braiding his daughter’s hair because she didn’t want her to ‘look’ Black. I’ve also seen Nazis at rallies wearing locs in their blonde hair while spewing hate about all Black people.
My response to my friend was “Would you be upset?” Would you want to feel like entire country hates you for breathing? Or would you be happy about police hunting you down for being Black, but also want to be like you? A du-rag on a Black person is considerably thuggish, but on a White person, it is fashion and sold at Neiman Marcus for $150. Everybody wants to be a “nigga” until it’s time to be a “nigga”.
Tona Tencreddi explores this topic of Black beauty in his new song, “War Child.” The video is captured perfectly in black and white with appropriate “Black love” and “Black economics” signs. As parents, we need to teach our kids what’s right and wrong and this includes when teaching them about cultures. Or even if they start to explore a culture we aren’t familiar with we must educate them on what’s okay and what’s not. We don’t want our kids to wear native headdresses and not have a clue as to what they are doing.
Listen to “War Child” now on GRUNGECAKE; Open up your mind and love yourself for a little bit.
If you like what you see/hear, get Tona Tencreddi’s latest project, “The Ivy League” now on iTunes.