Friday, March 24, 2017

Three and a half things I believe about writing and "cultural appropriation"

1. "Write what you know" does not mean we should limit our writing to our history. It means we should research the things we don't know, and we should research the things we think we know. When we get facts wrong, that's on us.

2. Readers have prejudices. Some readers out of ignorance or ideology or both will accuse writers of getting things wrong that we have actually gotten right. That's on them, not us.

3. Every culture appropriates. The term comes from anthropology, where it was used to describe a process without implying it was good or bad. The rule for cultures is appropriate or die.

3.5 The artist's duty is to appropriate wisely and inventively. That's how art grows.