‘Hunger Games’ Actress Records Video About Cultural Appropriation
Amandla Stenberg, the actress best known for playing Rue in the Hunger Games movies, recorded a comprehensive video on cultural appropriation and race relations in America that has gone viral.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the actress originally filmed the video as a project for her history class, but it wasn't until she posted it to her Tumblr page that the video began getting lots of digital traction.
The video, entitled "Don't Cash Crop My Cornrows: A Crash Discourse on Black Culture," examines the idea of cultural appropriation — a subject that comes up a lot where popular music is concerned.
In just under five minutes, Amandla not only gives a brief history lesson on black culture (including the origin of popular hairstyles that originated within black culture), but she points out the difference between appropriating and appreciating -- and she recognizes that there is a fine line between the two.
"The line between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange is always going to be blurred," Amandla said in the video. "But here's the thing: Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalizations or stereotypes where it originates but is deemed as high fashion, cool or funny when the privileged take it for themselves. Appropriation occurs when the appropriator is not aware of the deep significance of the culture that they are partaking in.”
The entire video is absolutely worth a watch, through to the end when Amandla leaves us with one final question: "What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we loved black culture?”
You can watch the full video over on Amandla's Tumblr.