Borrowing concepts from other cultures while paying homage to their origins — appreciation — is natural. Borrowing concepts without giving credit where credit is due or claiming to "discover" things that were already prevalent within another culture, however — appropriation — is problematic as all get-out. As Nicki Minaj once told Vanessa Grigoriadis of
"If you want to enjoy our culture and our lifestyle, bond with us, dance with us, have fun with us, twerk with us, rap with us, then you should also want to know what affects us, what is bothering us, what we feel is unfair to us." The New York Times:
In the past few decades — and especially within the past few years –— White people have seemingly taken a liking to "
Columbusing" other cultures — specifically Black culture. Read on to learn about more than a dozen things invented by Black people that their White counterparts have tried to take credit for.
This protective hairstyle for people with kinky, coily hair types is unique to Africans and African-Americans and a huge part of their cultural pride. White Americans have continuously tried to erase the style's origins, deeming it a mere "trend" from time to time and giving it different
names like "Bo Derek Braids." It's downright disrespectful to Black people who have been wearing cornrows since 3600 B.C.
The Video Game Cartridge
You have African-American engineer Jerry Lawson to thank for this one, geeks and gamers.
Baby hairs are a cultural mainstay in African- and Latinx-American cultures.
The Harlem Shake
This one hurts because the nonsense they've tried to replace the *actual* Harlem Shake with is flat-out appalling.
Marie Van Brittan Brown, a nurse concerned about the growing number of break-ins in her neighborhood, set up motorized cameras around her front door that she could monitor in her bedroom. Invented in 1966, her home security system was the precursor to those we have today.
Rock And Roll
Forget Elvis: Sister Rosetta Tharpe is the godmother of the rock and roll genre, but it wasn't until after her death that she was recognized as one of its originators.
Thomas Edison may have technically invented the lightbulb, but he based it on the research and discoveries of Lewis Latimer, a Black man who literally wrote the book on electricity.
Having round booties is natural for Black and Latina women, though they've been made to feel ashamed of their full features for centuries. When White women like Iggy Azalea and Kim Kardashian have flaunted their ample assets, though, they're heralded as big booty trendsetters and are credited for putting curves on people's maps.
Newsflash: Our bodies are not trends.
And speaking of booties: Birthed from African dance, twerking has been a part of African- and Latin American culture for centuries. But because of Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" video and whatever Miley Cyrus was doing on Robin Thicke's crotch a couple years ago, this move has since been credited to White people. SMH.
Dabbing is a dance that became popular in the Atlanta hip hop scene back in 2010 (and even more popular when Cam Newton starting doing it during Carolina Panthers games in 2015). These days, dabbing is a dying trend that White kids are selfishly keeping alive by abusive over/misuse.
White people are now using this dialect, the very one that's gotten Black people ridiculed for eons, to be "funny" or "edgy" — or even to get famous.
While Black rap artists are still seen as angry, violent thugs, White rappers like Macklemore and Iggy Azalea are "cool" and "progressive." WTF?
Fact: "Swagger" is not a new word, but the shortened term "swag" was
first used by Jay-Z on "The Black Album."