Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Case of the Art Thief. Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation and Blackness - SF Public School MomSF Public School Mom

The Case of the Art Thief. Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation and Blackness - SF Public School MomSF Public School Mom:

The Case of the Art Thief. Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation and Blackness

Repost of Forever Queen by @thick_east_african_girl. Original photo by Collier Scheier
This artwork by artist, Gelila Metiti Mesfin, was plagiarized by Chicago artist, Chris Devins, who set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to paint a mural using Mesfin’s work. He even offered to send donors who gave more than $100, a signed limited edition print of “his” mural!?!
The original artist was never asked for her permission. (Devin claimed it was “found art”.) She only learned out about the plagiarism via notification by her followers.
Some people think Black folks are over the top when it comes to our claims of cultural appropriation. Or, they say we’re go over the top when we continually complain that Black people have never gotten enough credit for their inventions, scientific advancements and artistic contributions to American culture (read: rock and roll.)
What these people don’t understand is the long, long history of White folks profiting not only off of Black folks bodies… but their intellectual and creative labor.
Look at Paula Dean, who built an empire selling soul-food. She not only made money selling Black cuisine, she profited off of the culinary expertise of her Black cook, Dora Charles, who was the “queen of Deen’s kitchens” for 20+ years.
Look at the Jack Daniel’s distillery. After years of hiding the truth, the company decided to reveal the real Jack Daniel’s story. Contrary to original accounts, Jack Daniels’s didn’t learn whiskey making from a White preacher, but from an enslaved man, Nearis Green. It turns out enslaved people didn’t just make up the bulk of the whiskey making workforce, the knowledge they brought with them from Africa about the fermentation process was critical in creating the American whiskey industry we know today.
Look to the cultural appropriation of Black women’s hair via Rachel Dolezal, and The Case of the Art Thief. Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation and Blackness - SF Public School MomSF Public School Mom:

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