Braids have been worn by black women and men since the beginning of forever. Nothing about braids and cornrolls are new. But when a white women is seen wearing braids in 2016 in for an editorial shoot or Kim Kardashian starts rocking the straight backs, the world is all of a sudden in awe, completely overlooking the fact that braids have been around. Even famous black men and women wore braids while in the limelight, i.e Beyonce, Gabrielle Union, Queen Latifah, Omarion, really the list could go on and on because as it is stated above, black people have been doing this since forever.
Leave it the young Hollywood starlet, Zendaya, to keep it real and give an educated response to what “boxer braids” aka cornrows really are, cultural appropriation.
In a recent interview Zendaya was asked about how she felt about the new boxer braid trend and her is what she had to say:
“Well, first of all, braids are not new. Black women have been wearing braids for a very long time, and that’s another part of the frustration… Another problem is it became new and fresh and fun, because it was on someone else other than a black woman. I don’t know if there is an appropriate way—that’s not something I can answer. My girl Amandla [Stenberg]… wished society loved black people as much as they love black culture. That’s the truth. The credit gets taken away from us when we make certain statements or when we do certain things. That is the frustration.”
When asked how the media could do a better job at talking about cultural appropriation, she said:
“If something feels personal to your culture or to your background, then you take that personally and you feel affected by it. You can’t tell someone not to be upset about it… Talk to women of color and hear their personal experiences. Get to know the background, understand why people are offended by it, and [learn] how we can be more sensitive of other people’s cultures—how we can enlighten ourselves…”
Cornrolls are apart of black culture and is essentially a means of survival for black hair during the summer time or that time when you were 10 and your mother just didn’t feel like doing your hair and braids were the only option you had if didn’t want to look crazy. So for it to be 2016 and white america is naming renaming cornrolls “boxer braids” and calling it “new” and “trendy”, it’s a problem. Zendaya couldn’t have said it any better.
Do you agree with what Zendaya had to say? Let us know below.