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Black History Month 2022
Black History Month 2022
Artwork by N\'ya Fritz
Culture > Entertainment

It’s Time To Give Black Creators Credit

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Irvine chapter.

Happy Black History Month! We should recognize the incredible contributions that Black people have made that run deep into many sectors of our society. It may be a surprise to you that Black people have played a role in shaping many aspects of your life, such as your music, everyday appliances, fashion trends, slang, and more. The world cannot move without Black creations.

As a Black woman, it bothers me how Black people are never acknowledged or celebrated for their inventions. In fact, their creations are often appropriated by their white counterparts, which is an issue that has been occurring for decades. If stealing another culture was a sport, white people would take the gold. For example, Kim Kardashian didn’t create Fulani braids, and Miley Cyrus did not invent twerking. However, we see this trend where white people are often praised for what Black people are ridiculed for. When I walk around with my big hoop earrings and braids, I’m seen as ghetto, while, when Kim does it, it is “trendy”. It’s unfair.

I know others would agree with me that enough is enough. It’s time to give credit where it is due instead of hyping up mediocre white people who are just hitting copy and paste on Black culture. 

I believe people should realize how much of their daily necessities are brought to them by Black people. For example, Garret Morgan created the three-light traffic stop that prevents countless car crashes. David Crosthwait Jr. and Alice H. Parker invented the air conditioning and central heating that allow you to cool down in the summer and warm up in the winter. The list of Black creations is endless, from your home essentials to your favorite snacks. They have enabled people to live more comfortably, so put some respect on our name. 

Did you know your favorite music genres are deeply rooted in Black culture? Even though white artists may appear more successful, there are Black origins in hip-hop, R&B, and reggae. Black musicians improvised some of the first jazz melodies, the banjo in early country music, and invented rock ‘n roll. At this point, I’m just flexing on behalf of my culture. As you can see, Black people have range. Think of this the next time you slow dance or throw it back to your favorite song.

My point is the world thrives off on Black innovation. Despite this, I find it upsetting how we are erased from the narrative and degraded. We should be allowed to reap the benefits of our contributions instead of having them whitewashed. It’s okay to appreciate Black culture and participate in trends, but there’s a difference between paying homage and appropriating. You cannot love Black culture and hate Black people. The two are synonymous. We should be grateful and give credit to those who have elevated our lifestyles because they are more than deserving of our recognition. 

Kayla Atkinson

UC Irvine '23

Hello everyone! My name is Kayla Atkinson and I am psychology and sociology double major. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, binging Netflix and reading a good book. I hope you enjoy my work!