#PYNKTalk: Is Imitation Really The Highest Form Of Flattery?

Kim K


Jesse Williams said it best during his BET Awards humanitarian speech, “We’re done watching while this thing called whiteness uses and abuses us, burring black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil.Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them. Gentrifying our genus and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies…”

This goes without saying that as a culture black people are some of the best creators and our genius a lot of times goes unnoticed and is disregarded because this thing called whiteness takes our creations only to deem them their own and somehow calling it new.

And as simple and minor as it may seem the creation and style of wearing cornrows or braids has been one of our creations that has been deemed a “trend” only when worn by popular white figures in the entertainment business.

For instance it took being worn by Kim Kardashian for the style of braids to be seen as a hip and trendy way of wearing your hair. And just like that the style that has been rocked by blacks for centuries has been deemed fashionable.

This form of whitewashing is all that Jesse Williams shed light on and in many ways to the black culture it is insulting as well as a joke. But, in no way am I saying that white people are not allowed to rock cornrows but, what I am saying is that black people need to be given credit for their creations, inventions, and culture that is almost always copied and pasted on to white figures and then deemed hip, high fashion, and trendy.

When will we get to a place where our culture is recognized for the genius it has always been? We invent and create things for our people as a way of feeling like we have a community that understands each other. From the way we speak in slang, to the way we rock our natural hair, to the way we sag our pants, to the way we congregate around a speaker blasting an old school jam, and the way we create our sub communities like black twitter to have a space that is entirely our own without the interference or fear of being discarded.

I say all of this to say, that as a culture black people have and will always be creators and the stem of genius that flows and is expressed through our creativity is what makes us magical.

But, ” Just because were magic doesn’t mean we’re not real”- Jesse Williams

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