Cultural Appropriation: General

 Ten Notions About Cultural Appropriation

  1. Cultural Appropriation, in the anthropological sense, is taking intellectual property, cultural expressions, artifacts, history, and ways of knowledge from a culture that is not one’s own.
  2. Cultural Appropriation, in the justice sense, is concerned with the difference between respectful and disrespectful “taking”. Cultural Appropriation typically involves members of a dominant group exploiting the culture of less privileged groups, often with little or no understanding of the latter’s history and traditions. 
  3. Who decides what is respectful/disrespectful? Default to multiple original sources from people of the appropriated culture on the topic of the appropriated practice or artifact. No one person decides.
  4. Default to respect and how respect is shown and practiced in the culture being appropriated. Are people truly paying homage by 
  5. “My culture is not a costume” is a movement of Ohio University students to showcase how individuals of a culture can feel marginalized and unaccepted when their culture is reduced to stereotype and worn for fun.
  6. When a dominant culture wears articles of an oppressed culture as fashion accessories it marginalizes the struggles some face for being "different," while those of the dominate culture are lauded for their kitschy fashion choices. 
  7. “We say that it is our past, our culture and heritage, and forms a part of our present life. As such, it is ours to control and it is ours to share on our terms.” - Aboriginal Elder from a community in Australia.
  8. Individuals within a culture differ on whether a certain instance of appropriation (or any appropriation at all) matters to them. Seeing any culture as monolithic is disrespectful to individuals within that culture.
  9. Saying that appropriation is never okay isn't necessarily the correct answer. Cross-cultural sharing is important to understanding one another. An authentic cultural exchange should feel free and affirming, rather than plagiarizing or thieving.
  10. Many people will say upon hearing negative feedback about instances of appropriation that it wasn't their intent to offend, or that they had the best intentions. Damage can be done regardless of intention.


Who Owns Culture? There’s a Legal Side to the Issue of Cultural Appropriation (2020)

White consumption of Black Culture is rooted in white supremacy (2020)

Belgian School Posts Obscenely Racist ‘Corona Time’ Photo for End of the Year Party (2020)

Please Don't Wear A Sombrero: What Cinco De Mayo Really Means, From A Mexican (2019)

Zwarte Piet: Black Pete is 'Dutch racism in full display' (2019)

We Talked to the Woman Who Reignited the Bruno Mars Cultural Appropriation Debate (2018)

MTV UK credits Kim Kardashian for making cornrows popular. (2016)

Justin Bieber defneds his dreadlocks: 'It's just my hair' (2016)

7 Way of 'Honoring' Other Cultures That Are Really Just Cultural Appropriation (2016)

We See You, Vol. 17: People Magazine Credits Bjork For Blac Chyna's Bantu Knots (2016)

How to solve the Chief Illiniwek problem for the next Chancellor (2016)

A Guide to: Cultural Appropriation (2016)

8 signs Your Yoga Practice is Culturally Appropriated (2016)

It Has Begun… Allure Magazine Provides Step-by-Step Instructions for White Girls to Achieve an Afro (2015)

'Whiteness Goggles' Set Out To Change How You See Cultural Appropriation (2015)

This White Feminist Loved Her Dreadlocks – Here’s Why She Cut Them Off (2015)

Here Are 5 Cultural Appropriating Outfits It’s Time to Retire for Good (2015)

Watch the Viral "Twin" Dancers Absolutely Destroy Beyonce's "Run The World (Girls)" (2015)

J. Cole, Azealia Banks Call Out White Appropriation of Black Music (2015)

What is a Ganguro, Yamanha, Manha, and Centre Guy? A little 101 on this Japanese Street Fashion (2015) 

There's Nothing Funny in the Misogynoir of Crossdressing Instagram "Comedians"

The Feminist Guide to Being a Foodie without Being Culturally Appropriative (2015)

"16-year-old Amandla Stenberg Schools Everyone On Cultural Appropriation In This Powerful Video" (2015)

"What’s Wrong with Cultural Appropriation? These 9 Answers Reveal Its Harm" (2015)

"Cultural appropriation in America can be audacious. Just look at the Ku Klux Klan" (2015)

“Playing Black for Laughs” (2014)

“Macklemore Participates in an Honest Conversation About Race and White Privilege in Hip-Hop” (2014)

"Jozer on Cultural Appropriation” (2013) – Jose Guerrero:

“Cultural Appropriation Isn’t an American Problem” (2013)

“Not Your ‘Fashion Dots’: The Continuous Appropriation for Bindis” (2013)

“Beyond Bindis: Why Cultural Appropriation Matters” (2013)

"Joslin Tsai “Fantasy” (2012) Taiwanese pop singer - Anglo appropriation?


Cultural Appropriation and Race user8242693555624 on TikTok (2020)

Music Videos

“Title Max Comercial: Real Money” (2014)

“Weird Al” - White parody artist “White and Nerdy” (2009) -

“It’s All About the Pentiums” (1999) -

Joslin Tsai “Fantasy” (2012) Taiwanese pop singer - Anglo appropriation?

Slam Poetry

“What Kind of Asian Are You?” (2013) – Alex Dang poem

“Oreo” (2014) – Tucker Bryant

“To JK Rowling, From Cho Chang” (2013) – Rachel Rostad

Rostad’s response to critiques of her poem

“Jozer on Cultural Appropriation” (2013) – Jose Guerrero

“The Future” (2013) – Neil Hilborn (ableism)

“OCD” – Neil Hilborn

Genuine Expression?

Sage Francis – White hip hop artist from New England Playlist - Website -

Die Antwoord – White rap-rave group from South Africa Website -

Two drastically different videos:

“I Fink U Freeky” -
“Ugly Boy” -

Eminem – White hip hop artist from Detroit “Real Slim Shady” -