Anybody else find Miley Cyrus' "appropriation of black culture" extremely racist?

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But she's not blacker now. She's just as white as she was before. She's maybe less innocent, less country, more "hip hop" or "urban".
Is she dating some black guy?
I'm no more mad at her than I am at Justin Timberlake, Eminem or whathisname......uh.....what is his name??!!!
Rick....no....Richard....uh, damnit, Paula Patton's husband!
Off to Google...
Robin Thicke! Yes, not mad at him either.
Good for them, make that money!
If Beyonce can run around with blonde waist length straight hair, then Miley can run around doing whatever it is she is doing.
Originally Posted by frau
I agree, women of all races are used as accessories in videos and men sometimes but not as much.
Sorry for the controversial topic but I lurk around here sometimes and you all don't seem to shy away so. . . figured I'd throw it out there. I was having a discussion with a bunch of people and it was two against three but I'm in the "racist" camp. Firstly, because of the presumption that drugs, gold grills and promiscuity are definitive traits of "urban" and "black" culture anyways. Secondly, because it really annoys me when white artists seem to treat black people as accessories to validate their supposed edge. And thirdly, because my little cousin's listening/watching this crap and saying it's so much cooler that Miley is "blacker" now.
Originally Posted by dusalocks
I'm a little confused...other than the twerking, what is MC doing that is being considered an expression on "Black culture?" (And I'm really going out on a limb to even include twerking.)

What does promiscuity have to do w/ Black culture?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
SL5000, i'm with you on this one. The only thing I know is that she Twerked in a unicorn outfit (which I find quite hilarious)


How old is she anyways? Isn't some of this just growing pains and wanting to be in with what's "popular"?
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Korkscrew, you always jot out the most elegant and thoughtful analysis. And it's not a tangent so much as it is a heaping spoonful of truth.

I actually have a few family members that sound a lot like your mother in the respect that they want nothing to do with their own culture. Especially if white people are around. And it saddens me. To hear them hiding their accents, turning off the ranchera music and putting on airs. As though being Latino was something to be ashamed of in the first place.

One note on Obama, he is every bit as white as he is black. Yet most people don't seem to perceive him as a man of mixed race. I had a neighbor who told me back in 2007 that she wasn't planning to vote for Obama because she thought he was only going to look out for "the black people". Never mind the fact that she is South Asian, her skin is darker than his, and she'd never found any of our past presidents to be a cause for that particular concern. Go figure. I've also heard people say the only reason Obama got elected in the first place was because he was "black". As though he rode in on a wave of affirmative action--completely overlooking the zeitgeist and the anger that was percolating at the time.
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Last edited by dusalocks; 08-20-2013 at 11:13 PM.
Dusalocks, that is so kind of you! I really mean this: I have a lot of respect for your thoughts, opinions and comments, you smart lady

It really is a shame that any of your family or mine or anyone else's family members feel a need to turn away from who they are. I really can't be sure, but it seems to me that with each passing generation, more of us are becoming aware of these attitudes and changing them little by little. ... Or this is what I like to imagine is happening.

You are 100% right about the president, of course - about him being BR, not just black. As someone also b/w BR, I will clear up anyone thinking I'm One Dropping the president: In the example I gave, whereby my mom gets upset at anyone who doesn't care for Obama as a leader, I know she believes just about all those folks are both racist and white, and so she says as much. She fits non-Obama supporters into that whole black vs. white paradigm, despite acknowledging that Pres. Obama is also part-white. In fact, part of the "reason" she's so gaga over Obama is because he is "mulatto". The hypocrisy is rich
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Why thank you. (Blush!) Yes, I have a few cousins of mixed race but at a glance people tend to view them as "black" rather than Latino or Afro-Latino. I suppose it doesn't help that they live in Texas. And they defy stereotypes too. They're Republican, for starters. Oh, I didn't think anybody assumed off the bat that you were the one criticizing him, although I wouldn't fault you if you did. I totally agree, anybody should be allowed to criticize Obama and his administration without being labeled as racist. I personally really like President Obama and much of what he's done (or tried to do even with Congress forestalling him) but I'm critical of certain aspects of his foreign policy. And it's worth noting that even while half of the country might be unhappy about the man, Michelle's approval ratings as always sky high. (I know, apples and oranges, but that woman could charm the pants off anybody--even prejudiced pants.) Not saying that racism doesn't play significant in how people judge the President. We've all seen how ugly can those tea party rallies can get or I don't think anybody would've deigned to harass Mitt Romney about his birth or the legitimacy of his citizenship (despite the fact that his father was born on a Mormon commune in Mexico). But you know what I'm getting at.
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It just so happens I have one sibling and several cousins that also live in largely-white, conservative states, are Republicans, and look most noticeably black while being either black or biracial LOL This is because my mom and my maternal relatives are West Indian and raised in a tradition of strict, conservative views. (I was too, but am a liberal-leaning moderate, in part because of a liberal Jewish father and Jewish relatives.)

The election discussions we had during the holidays were strident. It was most of my siblings and me, a couple ppl from my mom's family, plus my entire extended liberal Jewish family (except my grandmother) on one side, versus my conservative mom and much of her side of my family. It was actually pretty tame though because people were more philosophical and analytical about the thing than they were protective of their views. But no one minced words when it came to how they felt LOL

I agree with everything you just said about Obama and Michelle, and how non-Obama supporters can be either racist or not. In this day and age, it's still true that every individual can't be neatly piled into one extreme category.
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Miley Cyrus..her daddy wrote a very annoying country song when I was a kid. Then, all of a sudden Disney picked up on her...but her dad was also in the show. Sorry, if she doesn't want to ride on daddy's country coattails then maybe she should start writing her own music and take responsibility for her actions. I didn't see her as getting into black culture. I saw her as a spoiled little girl who is trying to rebel and since she's in Hollywood she's going to get into some heavier stuff. I'm sure she will be warmly welcomed into the celebrity rehab club...
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What if this is the music she really wanted to make from the start? What if these are the things she's always wanted to do and say but was prohibited due to her age and affiliation with Disney? Black people are capitalizing on the stereo type "black culture" so if that is in fact what she's doing can we really be upset? She hasn't said or done anything perversely offensive so I don't mind. Also many black artists and producers are working with her to create this "urban" sound if you have a problem with her they shouldn't be off the hook either. It's about the mighty green dollar for all of them so I don't take it to seriously. If its fake she can only pretend for so long but honestly she's young so her sound and style will probably change a few more times before she settles into her own.
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Miley Cyrus..her daddy wrote a very annoying country song when I was a kid. Then, all of a sudden Disney picked up on her...but her dad was also in the show. Sorry, if she doesn't want to ride on daddy's country coattails then maybe she should start writing her own music and take responsibility for her actions. I didn't see her as getting into black culture. I saw her as a spoiled little girl who is trying to rebel and since she's in Hollywood she's going to get into some heavier stuff. I'm sure she will be warmly welcomed into the celebrity rehab club...
Originally Posted by Winta
I always thought Billy Ray Cyrus had a great singing voice. However, Miley didn't inherit it. She sings horribly and not in a unique way like Britney Spears or Ke$ha. Maybe she can act because she won't be a renowned singer.

Miley always seemed to want to make her private life public. As a kid, she was posting sexual photos of herself online. I wonder how much of that is her personality and how much is het upbringing. I get the feeling that Cyrus children were used by their patents because the patents wanted to be in the limelight no matter the cost.

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Sorry for the controversial topic but I lurk around here sometimes and you all don't seem to shy away so. . . figured I'd throw it out there. I was having a discussion with a bunch of people and it was two against three but I'm in the "racist" camp. Firstly, because of the presumption that drugs, gold grills and promiscuity are definitive traits of "urban" and "black" culture anyways. Secondly, because it really annoys me when white artists seem to treat black people as accessories to validate their supposed edge. And thirdly, because my little cousin's listening/watching this crap and saying it's so much cooler that Miley is "blacker" now.
Originally Posted by dusalocks
I'm a little confused...other than the twerking, what is MC doing that is being considered an expression on "Black culture?" (And I'm really going out on a limb to even include twerking.)

What does promiscuity have to do w/ Black culture?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
That's what I'm trying to say. It's all about stereotypes. I could some specific instances in which I've seen this show up. I knew a girl whose mother forbid her to date black boys because she thought they were only interested in sex and probably involved in drugs. Really it's more do with ghetto-ization that I find it offensive. When it comes to promiscuity, I can think of one example. I took Human Sexuality in college there was an anonymous survey in which you had to report the age at which you lost your virginity. You also had to report your ethnicity. And since UCLA is infamous for having such few African-American students in the first place, the lone two African-Americans in the class had lost their virginity at the youngest age (rendering the survey not so anonymous) and certain people were murmuring that it was predictable.

Black Student Enrollment at UCLA Plunges : NPR
Originally Posted by dusalocks

But who is calling it (what MC is doing or appropriating or whatever) "Black culture?"

I would never have considered this Black culture.
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I'm a little confused...other than the twerking, what is MC doing that is being considered an expression on "Black culture?" (And I'm really going out on a limb to even include twerking.)

What does promiscuity have to do w/ Black culture?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
That's what I'm trying to say. It's all about stereotypes. I could some specific instances in which I've seen this show up. I knew a girl whose mother forbid her to date black boys because she thought they were only interested in sex and probably involved in drugs. Really it's more do with ghetto-ization that I find it offensive. When it comes to promiscuity, I can think of one example. I took Human Sexuality in college there was an anonymous survey in which you had to report the age at which you lost your virginity. You also had to report your ethnicity. And since UCLA is infamous for having such few African-American students in the first place, the lone two African-Americans in the class had lost their virginity at the youngest age (rendering the survey not so anonymous) and certain people were murmuring that it was predictable.

Black Student Enrollment at UCLA Plunges : NPR
Originally Posted by dusalocks

But who is calling it (what MC is doing or appropriating or whatever) "Black culture?"

I would never have considered this Black culture.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Agreed. Twerking is more like strip club culture
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I'm probably the minority here, but I think she is very beautiful. I love her unique looks. I also like her singing voice. I remember hearing a song on the radio and when it was over they said it was her. I was surprised. I really liked it. Sorry, can't remember the song, but I was surprised. I never followed her or heard any of her music even as Hanna Montana. I'm disappointed she is going this route, but there is a lot of competition out there and she is trying her best (even so very tacky) to keep up. I would hate to be in her world of entertainment. Do I think she is being racist? Yes, but not meaning to. I think she is very naive. I really didn't like the video of her grinding her butt while black women were encouraging her. I agree, they seemed to be just accessories to her trying to look black. Did you notice how she was wearing white and they were all in black? This is just a white woman's opinion who will really never know the whole implications of racism. I'm really being serious here and would appreciate any response if I'm wrong.
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I'm a little confused...other than the twerking, what is MC doing that is being considered an expression on "Black culture?" (And I'm really going out on a limb to even include twerking.)

What does promiscuity have to do w/ Black culture?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
That's what I'm trying to say. It's all about stereotypes. I could some specific instances in which I've seen this show up. I knew a girl whose mother forbid her to date black boys because she thought they were only interested in sex and probably involved in drugs. Really it's more do with ghetto-ization that I find it offensive. When it comes to promiscuity, I can think of one example. I took Human Sexuality in college there was an anonymous survey in which you had to report the age at which you lost your virginity. You also had to report your ethnicity. And since UCLA is infamous for having such few African-American students in the first place, the lone two African-Americans in the class had lost their virginity at the youngest age (rendering the survey not so anonymous) and certain people were murmuring that it was predictable.

Black Student Enrollment at UCLA Plunges : NPR
Originally Posted by dusalocks

But who is calling it (what MC is doing or appropriating or whatever) "Black culture?"

I would never have considered this Black culture.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000

I think Miley woke up one day and either consciously or unconsciously decided "I need to be more black!" Not knowing what being "more black" entailed, but knowing that it meant "cool" and therefore a music career booster, Miley sought the advice of her friends. Unfortunately all of her friends were white and ultra rich like her and so equally befuddled but encouraging of her new "black persona." They took selfies in their limos doing "gang signs" and felt pretty cool.

On youtube Miley discovered the art of twerking, and was fascinated. She thought the ladies twerking were pretty cool. Miley studied the videos intensely and practiced in front of her mirror, intensely. Unfortunately her academic pursuits stopped there and so greatly truncated her understanding of any aspect of African American achievement and culture or race relations in the 21st century America. Miley after all considered herself nobly "colorblind," and so as a white person totally able to relate to the experience of a black person in a "post-racist" society; all she needed to do is just channel her inner blackness, which she was already doing, successfully and wholly in her eyes, in front of the mirror.

Teeming with excitement, Miley ran to her producer to show them the cool new dance move. They were disgusting old men and liked it. They thought it was cool, and came up with the brilliant and edgy idea of using human beings, black women in our case, as props for Miley's next video. Miley giddly agreed.

- The End. -
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But who is calling it (what MC is doing or appropriating or whatever) "Black culture?"

I would never have considered this Black culture.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Me neither. That is what I tried to say, but I suppose I didn't say clearly enough with my initial statement. (The presumption of gold grills, drugs, lewd partying and promiscuity being "black culture".) But I think Miley is, at the very least, implying that these things are associated with black culture by trying to appeal to a blacker or more urban audience with, well, a whole bunch of stereotypes.

By the way, people keep saying they don't care about Miley or that I'm silly to even bring the subject up, but hey, this has been a fairly lengthy discussion with many an intelligent woman putting her two cents in. And look at the view count. I think it was its while, even if we're at odds in some respects.

P.S. Oh dear, I just realized Miley Cyrus is the new M.C. Oh how the mighty Mariahs have fallen. . .
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But who is calling it (what MC is doing or appropriating or whatever) "Black culture?"

I would never have considered this Black culture.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Me neither.
Originally Posted by dusalocks
Right. I think she thinks that whatever she is doing is "black culture."
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I'm probably the minority here, but I think she is very beautiful. I love her unique looks. I also like her singing voice. I remember hearing a song on the radio and when it was over they said it was her. I was surprised. I really liked it. Sorry, can't remember the song, but I was surprised. I never followed her or heard any of her music even as Hanna Montana. I'm disappointed she is going this route, but there is a lot of competition out there and she is trying her best (even so very tacky) to keep up. I would hate to be in her world of entertainment. Do I think she is being racist? Yes, but not meaning to. I think she is very naive. I really didn't like the video of her grinding her butt while black women were encouraging her. I agree, they seemed to be just accessories to her trying to look black. Did you notice how she was wearing white and they were all in black? This is just a white woman's opinion who will really never know the whole implications of racism. I'm really being serious here and would appreciate any response if I'm wrong.
Originally Posted by Lotsawaves
I didn't say anything about her looks, but I agree, she's a pretty girl. I think the haircut's cool. I don't happen to think she's an especially good singer thanks to all that autotune but then, TBH, the only other song I've ever heard from her was that Party in USA one and I've only even heard of that because I'm a Jessie J fan. I think the argument could definitely be made that yeah, a lot of racism is born out of ignorance and naivete. Once in high school my AP Social Studies teacher brought up the politics of ebonics and pointed out one of the black students in the class and instructed him to give us an example. The kid was all, "Are you kidding me? Just because I'm black?" But our teacher was laughing and treating it all as a joke. He probably never realized how deeply he offended that kid and how off putting the entire class found it. Nevertheless, I think Miley did offend some people, and she might've even set out to as part of her "I don't give a sh*t shtick." And I really like the example you cited. That's one that stood out to me in particular while watching the video.
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Agreed. Twerking is more like strip club culture
Originally Posted by secret_karma
Not necessarily. I don't doubt they do twerk in strip clubs but twerking has its roots in African dance. Not saying its inherently a part of black culture but my friend got quite good at it in hip hop dance class and to see her do it, hell, it's quite the workout and more graceful than one might imagine. Context is everything. To see one person do it you might think wow, what a dancer. What an athlete even. To see some scantily clad women jouncing up and down in some Nelly video that I agree, capitalizes off of black stereotypes like FrostiiLove said, well, it can come off as cheap and demeaning. And sometimes it can just plain be silly:

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But who is calling it (what MC is doing or appropriating or whatever) "Black culture?"

I would never have considered this Black culture.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Me neither.
Originally Posted by dusalocks
Right. I think she thinks that whatever she is doing is "black culture."
Originally Posted by wavydaze
What makes you think that?

Seriously not trying to difficult but trying to understand. How did this get associated w/ "Black culture?" Bc there are some Black ppl in the video? Maybe she doesn't consider it Black culture or trying to appropriate Black culture. Who is saying it's Black culture?

What video are we even talking about?

African Americans have done sooooooooo much in so many different ways to shape American pop culture that's it can be hard to identify specific cultutral tropes or props used in music videos and accuse someone White of stealing it or misappropriating them...bc it's become so embedded in general, mainstream culture. Some might be more clear examples of appropriation than others, tho. But I still don't know what exactly is being called examples of "Black culture" that MC has worked into her music.
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What makes you think that?

Seriously not trying to difficult but trying to understand. How did this get associated w/ "Black culture?" Bc there are some Black ppl in the video? Maybe she doesn't consider it Black culture or trying to appropriate Black culture. Who is saying it's Black culture?

What video are we even talking about?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
I'm really not an expert on Miley and haven't really kept up with her whatsoever, but I'm assuming we're (mostly) talking about her We Can't Stop video Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop (Director's Cut) - YouTube. I'm more specifically referring to the use of black women in the video to seemingly "approve" her dancing. They're not seen in the rest of the video and so not integrated with the rest of the party. They're quite literally used as props and to serve, visually and socially, the white woman in the center of the screen. On Miley Cyrus, Ratchet Culture and Accessorizing With Black People This article that was posted higher up in the thread does a better job than I could breaking it down. Obviously this isn't just her... there are producers involved, the director of the video, the casting agents...all these people. It takes a lot of people to create a video and an image and all are responsible.

African Americans have done sooooooooo much in so many different ways to shape American pop culture that's it can be hard to identify specific cultutral tropes or props used in music videos and accuse someone White of stealing it or misappropriating them...bc it's become so embedded in general, mainstream culture. Some might be more clear examples of appropriation than others, tho.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Yesss, good point!

But I still don't know what exactly is being called examples of "Black culture" that MC has worked into her music.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
I was was assuming we were talking about her image rather than her music... as more or less related to this video.
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Last edited by wavydaze; 08-23-2013 at 12:32 PM.
What makes you think that?

Seriously not trying to difficult but trying to understand. How did this get associated w/ "Black culture?" Bc there are some Black ppl in the video? Maybe she doesn't consider it Black culture or trying to appropriate Black culture. Who is saying it's Black culture?

What video are we even talking about?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
I'm really not an expert on Miley and haven't really kept up with her whatsoever, but I'm assuming we're (mostly) talking about her We Can't Stop video Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop (Director's Cut) - YouTube. I'm more specifically referring to the use of black women in the video to seemingly "approve" her dancing. They're not seen in the rest of the video and so not integrated with the rest of the party. They're quite literally used as props and to serve, visually and socially, the white woman in the center of the screen. On Miley Cyrus, Ratchet Culture and Accessorizing With Black People This article that was posted higher up in the thread does a better job than I could breaking it down. Obviously this isn't just her... there are producers involved, the director of the video, the casting agents...all these people. It takes a lot of people to create a video and an image and all are responsible.

African Americans have done sooooooooo much in so many different ways to shape American pop culture that's it can be hard to identify specific cultutral tropes or props used in music videos and accuse someone White of stealing it or misappropriating them...bc it's become so embedded in general, mainstream culture. Some might be more clear examples of appropriation than others, tho.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Yesss, good point!

But I still don't know what exactly is being called examples of "Black culture" that MC has worked into her music.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
I was was assuming we were talking about her image rather than her music... as more or less related to this video.
Originally Posted by wavydaze
OK, I watched the video and read the article. I don't see this as appropriating "Black culture." At all.

Yes, Black ppl have shaped American culture a great deal so you can see the influence of Black ppl there...and most everywhere. Most "pop" music has its roots in African American and African cultural forms. This is nothing new and def not exclusive to MCyrus. Yes, young, cool-looking Black ppl appear in her video. OK, she wants to be perceived as inclusive...and cool.

Didn't really see any booty popping.
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