Thursday 22 February 2018

Hunger Games' Rue calls out Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus on 'cultural appropriation'

The actress made the video as part of a school History project

Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

Amandla Stenberg has created a powerful video in which she discusses the trend for cultural appropriation by white American celebrities.

The actress who played 'Rue' in the 'Hunger Games' film franchise has gone viral for a clip in which she questions the recent trend for cultural appropriation by affluent white celebrities in America.

She points out that the trend is offensive as those partaking in the appropriation are "not aware of the deep significance of the culture that they are partaking in".

She makes the point that cornrows and dreadlocks are a way for women of colour to keep their hair healthy and manageable, while white celebrities do not understand that these hair styles are part of the identity of a woman of colour, and not a quirky fashion choice.

"Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalizations or stereotypes where it originated, but is deemed as high fashion, cool or funny when the privileged take it for themselves".

She raised several instances where white rappers and hip-hop artists have gained vast notoriety in the field while black artists struggle, and pointed out that hip-hop and other traditionally 'black' music genres were created by black people as a way to have their voice heard.

She touches on the recent number of unarmed black men killed by policemen or members of the public and concludes the video with a powerful and poignant question - "What if America loved black people as much as we love black culture?"

The video was created by Amandla Stenberg and Quinn Masterson as part of a school History project.

Stenberg was the victim of racist abuse on Twitter following the premiere of the film, despite the character being black in the book series.

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