amandla stenberg calls out kylie jenner's culturally appropriative cornrows

When caucasian Kylie appropriated black culture (again), Amandla explained exactly why it was not okay.

by Isabelle Hellyer and i-D Staff
13 July 2015, 12:50pm

via @amandlastenberg

While Amadla Stenberg initially rose to prominence portraying Rue in The Hunger Games, it was her oral history of cultural appropriation, Don't Cash Crop on my Cornrows, that really went viral. The video, conceived with a classmate for a school project, saw Amandla explain that black hairstyles aren't simply a stylistic choice, but an integral part of black culture foregrounded by a long history. When white people cherry pick an aspect of black culture for their own use, like cornrows, but ignore the culture that created their 'edgy' hairstyle - it's appropriation. Amandla puts it, "Appropriation occurs when the appropriator is not aware of the deep significance of the culture they are partaking in."

Yesterday, when Kylie Jenner Instagrammed a photo of herself wearing cornrows, Amandla commented to explain the problem at hand.

"When u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter."

While Kylie's Kardashian half-sisters have Armenian heritage, she is caucasian. Kylie responded by suggesting Amandla hang out with prom date Jaden Smith.

"@amandlastenberg Mad if I don't, Mad if I do…. Go hang w Jaden or something." 

In the past, Kylie has worn grills and dreadlocks. Amandla later posted the following statement, captioning it "bigger than you or me. discussions are healthy. ignorance is not. words by me":



Text Isabelle Hellyer

Kylie Jenner
Cultural Appropriation
Amandla stenberg
amadla stenberg