Cultural appropriation is not the sincerest form of flattery! On today’s episode, Alyssa and Brendane tackle the slippery concept that is cultural appropriation. In What’s The Word? they tackle the age old anthropological question of what is “culture,” and explain what cultural appropriation most certainly is not. What We’re Reading for this episode is bell hooks’ “Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance” to unpack how cultural appropriation serves a double duty, simultaneously reinforcing the power and dominance of the appropriator and it diminishing the value of the appropriated by objectifying and exoticizing elements of their way of life. In the What in the World?! segment, we discuss some reader questions and talk about Kahlil Greene’s TikTok series “How everything Gen Z does originated with Black people,” white women twerking and saying ‘gang gang,’ and the new film In The Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Also, the book Alyssa mentions about red beans is actually Rice and Beans: A Unique Dish in a Hundred Places edited by Richard Wilk and Livia Barbosa. Oops!
Thank you all for an incredible year of the podcast! We’ll be back in September with a new semester. In the meantime, take care of yourself and each other. Asé
P.S. Our episode art this week was inspired by Sha’Carri Richardson, future Olympian!
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Discussed this week:
Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance (bell hooks, 1992)
The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation (James O. Young and Conrad G. Brunk, 2012)
“Kim K” (K. Michelle, 2017)
Hide your Shea Butter (Crystal Valentine and Aaliyah Jihad, 2016)
White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue … and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation (Lauren Michele Jackson, 2019)
Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies (Mimi Sheller, 2003)
Eating their Words: The Consumption of French Caribbean Literature (Celia Britton, 2014)
Slavery and the Culture of Taste (Simon Gikandi, 2014)
Black Matters (Toni Morrison, 1992)