Spectra at the Spectra Speaks blog went on a very effervescent rant yesterday over the whole Mindy Budgor debacle. I love this bit, because it resonates with my thinking on the topic of agency, cultural appropriation and representative voice:
As much as this entire Massai White Woman Warrior scenario maddens me – to the core – I view it simply as a reminder of the importance of MY voice, and my work. Never has it been more essential for Africans to tell their own stories, actively share their perspectives online and via traditional media outlets as well. In so doing we at least make it harder for ridiculous narratives like this to be perpetuated without stirring up controversy. That said, there are other voices who really should be engaging the author of this book.
We either exercise our agency and voice, or someone else is going to co-opt it and we are going to be left with nothing but complaints. Do yourself a favor and grab a cup of coffee. Sip carefully while you read.