Gwen Stefani is only the latest glaring example of cultural appropriation in pop music

The stakes of cultural appropriation are high, particularly given the history of colonialism, imperialism, and slavery Black women in this country have faced, said Riche Richardson, a professor of Africana studies and FGSS graduate field faculty member at Cornell University.

"What's at stake when one is not really a part of that culture's history — does not share its traumas or the burdens that are associated with that identity — is the potential for commodification and profiteering" at the expense of the people who are the original creators in the culture, Richardson said. 

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Riche Richardson