Dreadlocks And Black Culture

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Culture is the perception and interpretations of the elements, symbols and values by members of a group, and how they are distinguished from another group in a society (Banks, J.A, Banks & McGee, 1989). Culture appropriation, based on Young (2015), is the adoption and appreciation of the aspects of a culture by the people from another culture. Dreadlocks, locs, or locks have been closely associated to the African culture as a symbolism of freedom and strength. In recent years, dreadlocks are being increasingly appropriated by the whites, and this has caused an uproar among the blacks. However, I believe that culture appropriation may not be as negative as how they have pointed it out to be. In this essay, I will outline how the problem of the whites being unable to show that they are appreciative of the dreadlocks culture reinforces the discrimination against the blacks and lastly, propose solutions to resolve this. The reason why dreadlocks were closely associated to Black culture, was firstly, mainly because of Bob Marley, an African Reggae musician (University Wire, 2015; Carter, 2016). Based on African context, dreadlocks, also referred to as matted hair, were a legacy of the African traditions and it was a symbolism of the Rastafarian movement (Forsythe, 1980). Bob Marley brought the dreadlocks culture alive as a spokesman for this movement (The Guardian, 2003). Not only that, matted hair was also linked to traditional healers and religious practitioners in Africa

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