Saturday, August 11, 2007

Spellcheck says Bellydance is two words - I never asked.

Why is it always white women legitimizing bellydance? Why do we need white America to say, “This is valuable” in order to acknowledge our cultures beyond their 'exotic' aesthetics? White woman opened her eyes and now she ‘discovered’ the value of our dance. Isn’t she clever.

Saturday’s Wall Street Journal came out with an article on the front page titled “New Labor Moves: Belly Dancing Hits Delivery Room”, explaining how Jennifer Wright from Missouri has successfully delivered her child with the help of her bellydance instructor DeeDee Farris-Folkerts (

Thank you, DeeDee, where would we be without you? Probably still using our dance solely in harems among our husbands’ 20 other wives. Thank you DeeDee, but no thank you. I’d rather have no representation than misrepresentation.

Just to clarify, our “mesmerizing music” doesn’t come from some exotic snake charmer. Sol Bloom’s Algerian wet dream does not represent our history. And our dance’s origins have nothing to do with Little Egypt’s “hoochie coochie” striptease.

Wall Street Journal, you can have your cover page back. I’d rather keep this part of my culture to myself – untouched, untainted, unappropriated, uncolonized. The U.S. isn’t satisfied raping our women and children – it has to take our cultures as well – swallow the soul and adorn its women in the skeleton of our histories.

We’re done with our service now, America. Done prostituting our source of empowerment to this nation’s exotic cravings. We’ll be taking our culture back, America. We rep it well ourselves. Mothers and daughters with round brown hips – we’ll be taking our lives back, America.
No need for you to dance our histories, white woman – we’ve got the moves, minds and bodies to dance our own.


Ima said...

same shit, different day eh? Today I was on my way to work and saw a white woman with a baby strapped to her in a cloth material. Much like you see in many different African cultures.

I guess it's in fashion now.

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