What are the values of black culture?
When it comes to cultural appropriation, it appears that Black people are the only ones who say the least and get ripped off the most. It seems that every other culture is highly protective of everything from their fashions to the food to the music.
Still, if you look around, you’ll see that black culture is utilized in most other cultures free and clear and it is even, in some cases, stolen as an aspect of different cultures who claim origination. Here are ten reasons why this often happens.
Black People are Peaceful
Contrary to popular belief, for the most part, black people are peaceful. We love competitive sports, and we love to dance and sing and celebrate. As David Banner said, we are the GREATEST threat to each other instead of everyone else. Nevertheless, we and society by news sources and media have been fooled into thinking that we are threatening and deviant and that we are to be feared as predatory (predominantly black men) instead of worthy.
We’ve also been fooled into thinking that it’s not ok for us to fight against oppression as in it’s not good to be the ABW or the ABM (angry black woman or angry black man)
Whenever we, in the black culture, stand up for ourselves or our beliefs, we are often regarded as the “angry black man” or the “angry black woman.” That often makes us the target of unfair criticism and shameful stares from the white race.
We are looked at as if our emotions are out of place and insufficient or not worthy of notice, attention, or confronting bias. Unfortunately, we often acquiesce to the lies and believe that we are wrong for standing up for ourselves so we often opt to say and do little or nothing when racist events present to us.
We’re Too Trusting
When it comes to black culture, we foolishly believe that others have our best interest at heart, and we are too trusting of people outside the culture who often take advantage of us and our money. Once you give away a recipe for a killer dish in a restaurant, you no longer own the restaurant, now someone else does. There is a reason patents and copyrights exist.
This is what makes a business successful: we can do something better than other people can. We all know the (his)story of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Kentucky Fried Chicken; even Paula Deen stole dishes from Black people and then claimed them as their own. They made millions and the black person was paid either a paltry wage or nothing at all. They weren’t educated and they didn’t know but they were used and taken advantage of because they didn’t understand business or friendships.
We Depend on Recommendations from the People We Trust Outside of Black Culture
If I am a black celebrity and I have a white manager, chances are I will also have a white agent and a white real estate agent, and a white attorney, mainly because the people that we have in our circle often are the ones who recommend others to us … from their circles. This is why the sports industry is riddled with racism. There are few power players in the top positions who can utilize their black resources to help others OR they don’t have black resources either. We are not exactly innocent of having our culture stolen either.
Cultural Appropriation Exists Because We Don’t Trust Each Other
We are remarkably trusting of other cultures but not our own black culture we don’t often trust each other. We are constantly under the impression that we are out to hurt each other and to take what we have earned from each other but that is not often the same insight that we have when it comes to different cultures infiltrating black culture. We call each other haters and jealous, manipulators and thieves and we were taught to think this way by the people we trust.
Cultural Appropriation Exists Because Most of us remain silent
… even those often in power. It takes harsh circumstances for us to unify and stand up against oppression, such as the George Floyd situation but when the culture comes together for a cause, we get much more accomplished
Cultural Appropriation Exists Because Our Comraderie is Forbidden
We don’t read enough, and we don’t believe in contracts and signing agreements. We believe in handshakes and gentleman’s agreements that often mislead us and allow other people to make a lot more money off of us in the black culture than we make ourselves.
As mentioned in several of the segments, looking out for ourselves or each other is often a threat to those outside of the community and we are under the feigned assumption that by helping each other or loving each other it is selfish and inconsiderate and we are even racist (look at all the commercials and ads with interracial couples).
These concepts cause us shame and guilt as if we are wrong for looking out for ourselves. Black camaraderie is viewed by all, including us, as the enemy of success. which makes no sense; it’s a game that is played on us but allows other people to steal our culture and our money.
We Ask For Just Enough Instead Of More Than We Need Or What We Deserve
It is evident in business as well as in our dealings with each other that we short-sell ourselves, asking for just enough to get by and then asking for discounts from each other when we help support black businesses within black culture.
We have a ‘hook a brother up’ concept but will pay premium top prices for products at white retailers without a complaint. This speaks volumes as to how we think of ourselves and the value that we see in our culture in addition, paying top dollar to everyone but black business owners, it is an indication of what we often deem as approval.
Cultural Appropriation Exists Because We Don’t Support Black Businesses Enough.
There are certain types of black businesses that are undeniable, like barbershops and beauty salons, and soul food restaurants. We’re only going to get traditional black culture from those places and that is what we are looking for.
But when it comes to everything else, we’d rather shop at other places for the most part and not support each other even when we own the business; there is often a tendency to hire people outside the culture to work there.
I used to think that this was on the black business owner until I realized that we don’t have a lot of support and trust of black businesses as a culture, so if we think we should only hire black people, it’s not impossible. Still, you will be looking for a VERY long time to survive and thrive.
Cultural Appropriation Exists Because We Don’t Promote What WE Are Doing Enough
Our black culture sits idly by many times and we don’t often promote what we do enough for fear of ruffling white feathers. Thus leaving room for others to enjoy the benefit of appropriating black culture.
Even when we are promoted, and our contributions are appreciated, we’d rather leave it up to the corporation or the business to promote us being promoted. We look at promoting ourselves as bragging and putting our futures in jeopardy as if we don’t deserve the promotion, the adulation or the recognition.
Black people make incredible strides, but our accomplishments are often short-lived because we don’t take credit for what we do enough. If you look at some of the comments on social media after black people celebrate what we do it’s often very negative, and coming from black people it’s even worse.
We Are Trained to Think WE Are Racists When It Comes to Black Pride
Whenever we complain about racism or being mistreated, we are often looked down upon in an ad as the racist ourselves but what is even worse is when we talk about black pride and loving ourselves, it’s STILL viewed as racist.
We Need to Have a Better Understanding of How Business Works
At the end of the day, we wouldn’t be taken advantage of if we truly understood how business works. Agreements, signatures, documents, and contracts are all the things that it takes to make sure that we don’t get ripped off we leave in the hands of others, and what happens? We get ripped off.
Here are 10 small business grants for black-owned businesses along with their respective websites:
National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Business Consortium Fund: https://www.nmsdc.org/programs/business-consortium-fund/
African American Empowerment Fund: https://www.aaefund.org/
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Grants: https://www.mbda.gov/businesses/grants
The Amber Grant for Women: https://ambergrantsforwomen.com/
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest: https://www.fedex.com/en-us/small-business/grant-contest.html
National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants: https://www.nase.org/business-help/grants
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs: https://www.sbir.gov/
Black Girl Ventures Foundation: https://www.blackgirlventures.org/
Minority Business Development Institute (MBDI): https://www.mbdiusa.org/
National Urban League Entrepreneurship Center Program: https://nul.org/entrepreneurship-center-program
Please note that grant availability, eligibility criteria, and application deadlines may vary. It’s advisable to visit the respective websites for detailed information on each grant and their application processes.