Having traveled abroad, it’s my belief that the primary export of “Black America” is cultural — music, song, dance, style, art, writing, and the list goes on. It is how we are identifiable in the world. Even traveling as far as South Africa, someone wanted to talk to me about “Jigga.”
And because our culture is our output, it should be ours to protect, to profit from — hell, to write about! There are lots of complicated (and often unproductive) conversations about the ownership of culture. Of language. Movement. Dance.
Last week, TIME (gotdamnit) ran a story that responded to University of Mississippi senior Sierra Mannie’s essay about the co-opting of Black female culture. “Black people can’t have anything,” she wrote.
Not doobie wraps. Not the Nae Nae.
I am bored, people of the journalism community. Bored with these lazy-ass pieces that try to explain the idiosyncrasies of my household, my experience, and my fucking existence. Bored with the microscopic lenses that exoticize Black love and Black expression.
Meanwhile, I’m timing my watch to see how long it takes White folks to find out about the jar of cooking grease on the back of the stove.