Someone tried to sue Beyonce for stealing concepts from a European Artist’s short film for Lemonade. Someone tried say Beyonce took Bob Fosse’s dance moves for the “Single Ladies” video too. They even tried to say Beyonce appropriated wearing “bangs,” (Yes we are talking about the hairstyle where you cut your hair shorter in the front across your forehead).
What in the world? There are so many reasons this is just wrong.
1. A minority cannot appropriate something from the culture in power. That defies the meaning of appropriation.
2. Most of what the folks on top right now claim to have developed was probably originated by a person of color (appropriated from) and therefore if another melaninated person then expounds on the appropriation of what was originally theirs anyway… then who is actually taking what from whom?
*Analogy: You came to my house and watched me cook collard greens. I shared with you some of the ingredients I put in my greens. Where did I get my recipe from? My ancestors. You go home and make your own version of my greens and call them “your special greens” at all your family dinners and what not. I come over to your house and you serve me “your special greens” and I notice you done added some nutmeg and people are going crazy for it. I then go home and make my own version of nutmegged greens along with my own shit that I’ve been doing since I been cooking. Finally you sue me for stealing YOUR idea of putting nutmeg in MY original greens recipe.
Yeah, sounds silly right? That’s what just happened to Bey.
3. You can’t copyright ideas. Trust me, if that was the case, some very important people would be in quite a pickle, all the ideas they done stole!
4. Don’t be mad if Beyonce took what you did and made it better. Shit if the crap you produced was so good, why didn’t it sell on it’s own? Why don’t we see you being nominated for an Emmy? Artists are inspired by other artists all the time. Everyone is just taking an idea from someone else and expanding upon it anyway. What did you want? Production credits? Rights? Royalties? Ha!
Let’s go down the line of every time an American scientist has stolen an idea from a person of color and taken all the credit for it. Right now Edison’s descendants are living like royals while the descendants of the people of color that ACTUALLY invented all those things are most likely living in poverty. Imagine if they had made the money that Edison did? I think the country would look a lot different if all black people were given credit and royalties for all that they have invented, thought of, created, built and developed. Who would be suing who then?
And don’t even get me started on this racist ass nonsense Georgetown U is touting talmbout giving the descendants of the 237 slaves sold by GU in the 1800s preferential admissions just as they would for the descendants of alumni? A big shady side eye to them, to all of them. You know who you are. Tsk Tsk
The moral of my story here? Don’t come for the Queen.
For a more scholarly article on this topic, go here: 5 Reasons Why People of Color Cannot Appropriate White Culture in the US, by Rachel Kuo.