Cultural Appropriation of Hoop Earrings from Whom?!

I was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast and heard something absurd.  Again.  There is some current outrage about white ‘cultural appropriation’ of hoop earrings.  What?  Historically that makes no sense.  But I guess some African culture is the oldest.  So maybe.  When I heard that Latinas are staking the cultural claim to hoop earrings I reached the limits of my indifference.  By the way, Vikings had dreadlocks.  But that’s not the battle or my point here.

America 101

I’m stunned and disappointed in the latest rash of “cultural appropriation” outings. It’s a preposterous criticism in America, remember we’re “the melting pot”.  American strength and identity are rooted in assimilation, not segregation, of the best and brightest from any culture.  Cuisine, language, non-sacred accouterments holidays, traditions…we embrace, learn, teach, and celebrate.  As such it is with reverence and an honor.

I’d rather have my culture appropriated in celebration than mocked or discarded.

White Girl Hair

I’m a black woman and I have long had straightened hair to some degree, so I’ve appropriated white culture?  Okay, sure.  White people are the only folks on Earth, in all history, to have straight hair?  Sounds familiar, like the hooped earring theory.

I’ve taken heat from my early youth and beyond from other black people for having straightened hair – critisized for wanting to “look white”.  Exceedingly stinging allegation, it is to say that I am ashamed of my parents, my family, and myself.  Which of course I’m not.  I am lazy.

Honestly, straight hair came from the aversion of drama.  The drama of getting my hair combed.  I had 3 older sisters and mom, each dreaded my hair.  Taming a mass of thick, tangled, hair while I flailed in protest, grabbed my hair, head, or the brush, and cried.  I was “tenderheaded”.   Straight hair is easy hair.  A blessing.

I preferred to endure childhood hours of occasional tedium in a hair salon, including two hours under ear blistering hot air in curlers.  Smoky pressing combs or stinking, stinging, chemicals.   Even hairdressers complained once they loosed it from bonds.  It is like popping the wires from a hay bale.   The more it is combed the bigger it gets.  Shock and awe.  I call it ‘party hair’.

The results have always been mutually felt worthy the efforts.  Oooo, you have “good hair”.    Thank you, it runs in my family!


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