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Cultural Appropriation and the White Freelance Writer

Cultural appropriationMost of you know I’m about as white as I can be. Over time I’ve become aware of and owned as best as I can my white privilege. I’ve asked for help understanding how race effects writers of color. However, I keep stumbling into how much I don’t know and how easy it is to offend with that lack of knowledge.

I’ve become gradually aware of the concepts around cultural appropriation. It wasn’t, however,  until I read, even studied a bit, Stop calling it “Cultural Appropriation” and call it what it is: Colonialism. Written by Dr. Suzanne Forbes-Vierling, contributor at AfroPunk.com, it is a no-holds barred statement about what cultural appropriation is really all about.

I am not going to try and sum up or interpret her article. I am going to urge you to read it, and to take some time to chase the links.

What does this have to do with freelance writing?

What has this got to do with freelance writing? We writers are worried often about ideas around copyright, and intellectual property rights. This article has expanded how I see those ‘rights.’  It also is making me question some of the American Indian jewelry that my folks passed on to me. It was paid for, but from I suspect, a ‘colonizer’ point of view. I’m also Buddhist in the Soto Tradition – which is based in Japan! In other words, I’m far from free of cultural appropriation.

Enough said, for the moment, except for a nod of thanks to my friend Jay for posting this where I could find it.

Have a read, and let’s talk about it in comments.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer



Image by NinoCare

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