Cultural appropriation has been a growing concern in the black community. The damaging part of this notion is the blood, sweat, and tears produced from the intellectual and physical labor of blacks worldwide are often sought, replicated and yet not credited to blacks.
One case in point is African designs being seen on American runways without proper credit given to the originators. Another side of this coin is “Transracial” individuals – those who are born as a particular race yet identify with another lineage.
The following women although, born white, “identify” as black.
German-born Martina Big has radically changed her appearance. She now self-identifies as a “Black German.”
Beginning her transformation in 2012, Big has had her legs, waist, and hips narrowed, several breast augmentations, lip injections and then a procedure that has caused her skin to darken over time. In 2017, Big officially changed her race with the German government to Black.
Now known as Nkechi Amare Diallo, the former Africana studies teacher and civil rights attorney caused much banter in 2015 for stepping down from her position as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Washington state chapter president. Dolezal also referred to as Diallo led her chapter members and others to believe that she was African- American and lied about other aspects of her background. She was outed by her parents as being fully White and subsequently, she resigned as NAACP president of the Spokane, Washington branch.
She also lost her positions as an instructor of Africana studies and police ombudsman commission over a “pattern of misconduct.”
Since then, Diallo has worked as a hairdresser and in 2017 it was reported that she was homeless and using government subsidy programs as a means of survival.
A Netflix special titled “The Rachel Divide” documents Diallo’s journey since she revealed that she identifies as black; it’s due to premiere on April 27th.
Filmmaker and the brains behind the before mentioned project Laura Brownson stated, “Regardless of how people feel about Rachel, I hope the film will challenge audiences to think more deeply about race and identity in America.”
The Instagram socialite is notorious for claiming that “thug life” and dropping N-bombs left and right.
Named Victoria Waldrip, she caused an uproar when after a brawl at the four seasons mall in Greensboro, North Carolina, she was arrested. She then proceeded to include on an IG post of her mug shot, #blacklivesmatter despite the police report confirming her arrest lists her as white.
Waldrip has some fuming by claiming to be “25 percent white and 45 percent black,” selling hair weave, rapping, twerking – activities that generalized as things “black people do.”
The Australian rapper has been accused of jacking hip-hop culture. Born Amethyst Amelia Kelly, Kelly migrated to the United States at the age of 16 to pursue a rap career.
Settling in Miami, Houston, then Atlanta, Azalea raps with a southern U.S. accent; very unfamiliar from an Australian accent.
Azalea has gotten heat from A Tribe Called Quest‘s Q-Tip when he asserted that she “picked and chose from black culture but ignored larger issues.” Underground rapper Azalea Banks also brought Azalea to task for her landing the 2012 XXL freshman cover; Banks stated: “how can you endorse a white woman who called herself a ‘runaway slave master’?”
You can’t deny what individuals identify with, however, one thing is clear, no one can deny their history.