As black artists gain notoriety for their work and image, white artists have attempted to emulate their styles in order to seem like they are “keeping up” with the trends. However, their failure to understand how wrong it is for them to use elements of black culture has resulted in multiple offenses of appropriation which is most visible in music videos. Some of the artists that have been called out on their actions have been Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift.

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These actions are harmful because the white artists I’ve mentioned have the power to influence today’s youth due to their celebrity status. If viewers see artists using black women as props, or appropriating black hairstyles,etc., their views of black people can be affected regardless of whether they are thinking  critically about these music videos or not.

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One response »

  1. maddiernelson says:

    Thank you for sharing this. White culture must address how the use of hip-hop music and aesthetics turns hip-hop culture into a commodity. Beginning with jazz and leading up to hip-hop, white America has appropriated black music as its own. The crime, then, is not the use of black musical gifts but the bigotry that often leads to their commoditization.

    Resisting white mainstream artists like the ones mentioned above is necessary to dismantle the exploitative and marginalizing relationship between mainstream society and African-American culture

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