See, I'm a white guy with dreadlocks, I got them about four years ago because I liked Bob Marley and thought it would look cool. Lately I have heard some complaints about white people with dreadlocks (e.g. a white musician was excluded from a climate protest because of her dreads here in Germany) for being racist. What's kind of curious about it is that these complaints mainly come from white people. It feels like they're trying to patronize other cultures by telling other whites what they're allowed to "imitate" and what not. So I was wondering, what do the people whose culture I am "stealing" from think about that? Because I met a few black rastas outside Jamaica (Chicago, Amsterdam) and all of them liked my hair. It just confuses me since my motivation to get dreads wasn't racist at all.
The way I see it, most times the white guys with the dreads wear the most red gold and green, praise Haile Selassie more than anyone else, smoke the most herb, listen to the most reggae and chant down Babylon more than anyone else lol. But at the end of the day, they do not advocate for the issues plaguing brown and black people.
This. Its cultural appropriation in its truest form. Taking on parts of the culture you enjoy or think is “cool” without taking on the hardship of the people or the negative aspects of being from that background ie systemic persecution. It’s extremely difficult to understand as a white person but people cherry picking bits of cultures they think are cool without having any understanding of what people of what people from that culture have suffered is what most people are pissed about. I’m not saying if I agree or not with this, but this is what is meant by cultural appropriation. Also for obvious reasons, this is something that pisses off immigrants that are living in foreign lands than people who are still in their homelands, it’s not very tangible to the latter.
As a Jamaican emigrant, living in a foreign land, I frankly don’t care if white people grow dreads, shave their heads, or color their hair.
Furthermore, dreadlocks did not originate in Jamaica. They’re appropriated from Asian Indian sadhus. The founder of Rastafari, Leonard Percival Howell, published the first work of Rasta theology, •The Promised Key• under the pseudonym of “G. G. Maragh.” “Maragh” is how Indians in Jamaica spell the name “Maharaj.”
Cultural appropriation of something that’s a cultural appropriation does not seem to me to be a significant problem.
This isn’t cultural appropriation. It’s a horrible example of it. Rastafari took on It’s own life as a belief system being born in Jamaica from many things. Including the BIBLE that has guiding scripture about how hair “should be” in locs.
Who isn’t culturally appropriating something? Cultural appropriation is just another silly word that some bored loser professor invented for attention, and to create division.
We all borrow from other cultures. That’s how society grows and thrives. Without that sharing of technology, lifestyle and fashion we would eventually go back to the stone age.
The woke mob are the most racist people I know. They’re actually fighting FOR segregation now, but also want to have men compete against women. They’re completely insane. They’re the same ones driving by themself in the car with a cloth mask on. LOL!
The issue may be because dreads aren’t a fashion statement. This could be considered as cultural appropriation…Rasta is a movement. You answered your own question…..you thought “it would look cool.”
At the end of the day what you do with your body is no one else’s business tho. Just maintain positive vibes and emulate Bob’s energy and you’ll be fine
I seen an article recently about black Americans telling Africans to stop immigrating to America because there taking opportunities from them
I’m in an argument now with a Black American in a another sub and he’s trying to talk smack about Jamaicans and what they have done for us (I’m diaspora mind you) I feel bad because I have to tell him the truth about what most of us have been really thinking
Over here in the diaspora many with bring up that AA are really make a bad name for themselves. They don’t take opportunities that’s in front of them but get mad that other black people do. They heavily involved in gangsterism and it’s really a big part of there culture. They tend to make excuses for everything and they tend to use the black card in issues that wasn’t racial and will use the card on everybody including other black people. We get labeled white because we speak a more clearer dialect of English and dress well.
You mean the opportunities they aren’t using? You mean the opportunities we are qualified for? This is just another divisive tactic from the “white man” (white supremacist society) against black people again. House slave field slave didn’t work so they brought in house slave field slave 2.0. The house slaves being the ones in the house, the U.S. and the field slaves being the ones coming from outtadoor, black foreigners. They should be glad we coming there to help keep their numbers up on the census. And bringing our cultures there to feed into American black culture and make it stronger. If other black people didn’t come to America, there would be only so many black people to marry before you start marrying your distant cousin etc. If we didn’t work our asses off and get good jobs and get into hiring positions and other game changing positions then who else would be there to help them? They can only do so much at a time on their own. I hate how some of them act like we are leaches and we do nothing for the country and nothing for them. It’s untrue and ridiculous. Look how many Caribbean people go there and make black history???
It’s jealousy, they are mad because other black come to America and make a living for themselves and often times surpass them. They watch other black people come in and start business and don’t have the same fear for white men. They accuse us of trying to be white because we dress better and speak better English. Despite most of us speaking another language as our first language
This is the problem when you live in a diaspora, you end up throwing around your own insecurities by being offended by things that are not actually offensive. The disconnect between the idea of your culture and what it actually is widens and the embarrassment from that underlying fact often results in a doubling down, it’s weird.
I feel sorry for African Americans, though, they have no home and have been fed a broken concept of whatever ‘black’ is
Jamaicans don’t care if a white person wears dreadlocks. Not completely unrelated but I’ve seen a lot of posts and tik toks where white people assume that we would or should be offended by others “stealing” our culture which couldn’t be any further from the truth.
We love to share our culture with others and take pride in it.
Doesn’t matter its literally your hair should be able to do whatever you want with it personally i think thats hella cool. never could understand why people trying not to be racist end up being racist by patronizing as u said but as u can see from the different responses you won’t get one answer lol
None of us actually care. You’d be surprised to know many Jamaicans dont actually see rastas in a favourable light despite their cultural significance to us. Most people my age dont even KNOW the significance, do what u want with your hair
There are alot of people who have parents who were born in jamaica and some who are simply just obsessed with the country in this thread. As an 18 year old raised in Jamaica from birth i promise you we do not care at all.
I’m Jamaican and no it doesn’t. It’s a cultural thing but most Jamaicans find it flattering. I personally like it. Our culture is loved and accepted worldwide and wearing dreadlocks is just one small aspect. I’ve never heard one of my fellow countrymen day anything negative towards American ls etc wearing dreadlocks. Im rasta by the way.
Dreadlocks are a hairstyle tied to culture and history. Straight hair is not a hairstyle and not tied to an, ethnicity, culture or history, either you were born with straight hair or not and persons of different ethnicities can have naturally straight hair, in some it‘s more common than in others. But there are black girls who naturally have straight hair, not that uncommon in the horn of africa.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of my fellow Jamaicans have an issue with this locally. More likely the Black Americans and the migrated Jamaicans who seems to have forgotten who they are will be the ones with this issue.
I don’t think they’ve forgotten who they are.. when you move to an environment in which you are now the minority, your priorities change, your ideas of what is/isn’t offensive also change.. it’s just a matter of one’s environment having an impact on their mind. Just like Jamaicans living in Jamaica just have better things to worry about.
I never did while I was abroad. Matter of fact I was more appreciative of home. I started to realize of much more amazing Jamaica is in comparison to America. I just wish our economy and govt were better.
I’m a (27F) with locks and I visited Negril a few years ago, they absolutely loved my hair and wanted to add all sorts of accessories to it. They showed no ill will towards me and if anything they expressed how awesome it was to see some “whities” repping their style. That’s my own personal experience, I’ve also only been shamed by white people here in America it’s all very strange to experience. I don’t like that those white peoples are choosing a victim standpoint FOR Jamaicans. They simply don’t hold that power. ~something that was said to me by a Jamaican once.
Cultural appropriation is a stupid concept. You want dreads, have dreads. I used to live in the Caribbean. The majority of people were fine with you if you were fine with them. They were excited if you saw their culture as cool and wanted to integrate. I used to have long hair, people would regularly ask (hopefully) If I wanted to dread it up.
Its not cultural appropriation, its religious appropriation. If you’re just doing it to “look cool” its making a mockery of the Rastafarian faith. A lot of Jamaican’s dont respect other ppls faith or cultures so the comments here are not surprising. I’ll say this, unless you accepted the Rastafarian faith, Bob himself wouldn’t have approved of you wearing it just to “look cool”
Devout Ras Tafarians truly believe that the white man is the devil. Their bible tells them it is so. If you like Bob Marley, Reggae Music, Jamaican Culture and even if you love Jah, it is best to do so respectfully and not fly Natty Dread. You probably would not be inclined to emulate the appearance of Orthodox Jews, the Amish, Buddhist Monks etc. BTW: Dreadlocks are not a hairstyle and Rasta is not a religion to be practiced for one hour on Sunday. The Rastaman lives it 24/7 and practices a lot of daily discipline, sacrifice and piety. To throw the comb away is a major life altering decision. It is not to look cool in the mirror.
“Out of many one people” if a white people want fi wear dread locks mi nuh see a problem wit it. It should be pride full Dat some one wanna follow us Dat mean our stamp pan society is working me nuh grow up wid hate. Me grow up to respect people and get it back. And we were put on dis earth with free will
You have no ill intentions, wear your hair how you please. Most jamaicans are fine with it. Its your life, dreadlocks didn’t originate in Jamaica either. You did it as an ode to the culture, its just showing love. Dont let anyone tell you differently.
During biblical times Nazarenes, who were Israelites, locked their hair as a symbol of spiritual devotion to the most high YAHs covenant that he had with his people. If you are dedicated your life to following all 613 commandments of the covenant which is stated in the Torah (Old Testament)there is no problem with you locking your hair.
The fact that you are mentioning meeting black rastas who liked your hair is so very cringe or complaints mainly being from white people like what???. Do you know anything about the history/culture? Do you advocate for anything for black people? There is a deep history around black hair and Rastafarian culture that goes beyond I liked Bob Marley. Instead of using Google you came to another class space to hope to get validation for your cool ‘do and get us to explain to you instead of doing the work to research and learn. Yikes.
If you have access to Reddit you have access to the internet. Research why it’s cultural appropriation and then research why white people try to find ways to validate cultural appropriation to suit them. Every Jamaican isn’t a Rastafarian and many don’t support Rastafarianism. Not too long ago (and still) many couldn’t even get work with locs - neat or not.
Based on readings dreads can be traced to India but is accredited to jamaica due to rastafarianism. The popularity of which made the style well known in Jamaica. With that said I doubt any body in here is rastafarian and can speak for the community. Rastaman dem me know always have their Caucasian friends and them never stop them from dread.
As Morgan say, you don’t have to dread to be rasta. The second line of that song speaks to what the general populace thinks..
I know no Jamaicans who cares about this. Most of us actually view it as a sign of cultural appreciation.
I think it’s more an issue with African Americans because of the culture and society that they live in.
I think it’s the ancedote of double standards that triggers people in foreign lands.
In Jamaica or whatever black country, it’s highly unlikely that the locals will judge you. However, in the west, i.e. UK, I see white people with dreads who are considered to be hipsters. If I were to get dreads, then it’d be ghetto, trashy or thuggish. I’d be hard pressed getting a job in an office too.
Now you’ve referred to white people, which I suppose is another topic that I’d never understand. I guess you could tell them that vikings had dread ☺️.
Personally, I could care less about the hair choice of others, but I do wish those beautiful black women would embrace styles that are more fitting of a black woman. Thankfully, the whole natural thing appears to be taking off.
Amen brother. Rock on.
Its cultural appropriation in its truest form. Taking on parts of the culture you enjoy or think are “cool” without taking on the hardship of the people or the negative aspects of being from that background ie systemic persecution. It’s extremely difficult to understand as a white person but people cherry picking bits of cultures they think are cool without having any understanding of what people of that people from that culture have suffered is what most people are pissed about. I’m not saying if I agree or not with this, but this is what is meant by cultural appropriation. Also for obvious reasons, this is something that pisses off immigrants that are living in foreign lands than people who are still in their homelands, it’s not very tangible to the latter.
Scottish, German and Norwegian (Vikings )as well as Indians wore dreads in ancient times right up to the 1500’s to today.
It is not racist. I wear braids / dreads all the time because of my heritage. Sorry not appropriation. https://theculturetrip.com/europe/greece/articles/does-the-origin-of-dreadlocks-stem-from-ancient-greece/
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