Cultural Appropriation

Cultural Appropriation Bingo Card

Cultural Appropriation Bingo by Liz Henry on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.

So, Halloween is quickly approaching, and it’s time for horrifying examples of cultural appropriation again. (Okay, to be fair, some of those costumes in the link from Sociological Images are just straight-up racism.)

I recently saw a series of videos on Buzzfeed (which I have to say has some pretty great videos exploring race and gender issues) where Native Americans speak about their reactions to cultural appropriation in music festival fashion, sports team mascots, and Halloween costumes. I thought the series is really well done and I plan to share the videos with my English: First Peoples course next semester.

Also, on a similar note, I saw this resource today from the Solar Community Housing Association (UC Davis) and thought I’d share it: Cultural Appropriation: Guiding Questions to Ask.

The more we understand ourselves, the reasons for our actions, and how our cultural
explorations might be perceived in relationship to an oppressive history, the more we are able to navigate our way through challenging conversations, build authentic relationships and break down the wounds built up over years of injury. Perhaps even more important, we might be able to avoid enacting a disrespectful form of appropriation. (Shelly Tochluk, author of Witnessing Whiteness)

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