I was amused by the comical lashings Bieber received from African-American entertainers on his Roast, but was shocked to learn the motivation behind his tomfoolery; an apparent bid to be black. This post is the result of biting my tongue after the Rachel Dolezal 419, and the backlash of Kylie Jenner's cornrows. It seems one too many caucasian individuals are moulding a media image of 'black' centred around hyper-sexualisation, delinquency, and self-glorification. I'm a black female who's always remained on the right side of the law, is not particularly curvaceous (and I'm content that way), not to mention quiver at the thought of even plugging my blog or personal achievements publicly.
Bishopsgate Institute, Liverpool Street, LondonI was invited to a private tour of the Bishopsgate Institute to learn more about their eclectic archive collection & was particularly taken by the Bernie Grant items in the basement (which should be curated for an exhibition next season - October). Grant donated commercial racist paraphernalia such as racist postcards depicting black individuals as monkeys munching on bananas, Robertson's golliwog-emblazoned jam jars, and Darkie toothpaste, to name but a few. I was saddened to see how black people were depicted only a few years ago. I never dealt with racism growing up in Nigeria because there was no distinction between me and the next lass. Moving to the UK and dealing with my first racist attack aged 10, I remember being confused by the mixed race boy calling me a monkey when he must be half a monkey himself! I had never valued my caucasian counterparts as being any better, as I excelled far above them academically, and was equally regarded as aesthetically pleasing (in primary school). So why was the rest of society placing one race above the other on TV, in songs, and in the employment market?
I am not saying "[black] culture] is just for black people alone to enjoy and cherish. Culture is for everybody." Spike Lee...but as inclusive as its enjoyment is becoming, so also should its positive output be.