A Native American woman went off on rapper Omerettà The Great when she tweeted a picture of herself in costume and captioned it “Chocolate Pocohontas.” Cheyanne Saver, a Crow tribe member, responded and pretty much called out the photo and the rapper for being a culture vulture and incidentally started a major debate.
Now typically the accusation of cultural appropriation is directed towards white people for trying to steal aspects of other cultures, but Cheyanne felt the need to call out people of color for it too.
On the other hand, several spoke out and mentioned that Afro indigenous people, individuals with mixed Black and Native American ancestry, have existed in the U.S for quite some time. So perhaps the “Chocolate Pocahontas” claim is not that far off.
There were some people in favor of what Cheyanne had to say as well. It is important to acknowledge the complicated history of Pocahontas, who essentially was enslaved and forced into a “relationship” with Johh Smith. Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s more or less a slave narrative.
If you aren’t Native, keep your hands off our culture! We rock our regalia beautifully every single day. pic.twitter.com/s3MQE8TLyI
When it comes to the girl who the tweet was direct to? Seems like she completely missed and/or disregarded whatever Cheyanne had to say. We do think that there is a point to this debate, though.
Being “woke” includes tolerance and acknowledgment of other cultures and struggles. The oppressed cannot be the oppressors but that doesn’t mean we all can’t participate in systems of ignorance. We’re going to use this opportunity to learn something and be more mindful of all cultures in the future.