Wypipo Stay Stealin’: #HoopEarringsNeverLeft

Almost every baby-mother, grandmother, mother, sister, and aunt that I know in my neighborhood, have been serving hoop earrings since I had milk on my breath.

In a recent post, US Weekly tweeted a picture of a curly haired woman with big gold hoop earrings, and the tweet said, “Hoops are back: see how your favorite celebs are styling them.” The people at US weekly, and anyone else who believes that “Hoops are are back,” should be thrown in prison, charged, and convicted for being dumb asses. #HoopEarringsNeverLeft, and I’m all for Black women turnin’ up on anyone trying to steal their sh*t.

I have vivid memories of the hoop earrings that my childhood girlfriend wore. She had a pair of big gold ones with my name, “Koni” sliced through the middle, with a rhinestone covered heart dotting the ‘i.’ She also had a pair that said “Boss Lady,” “Dat Bitch,” and a few pairs of the plain ones. Right now, you can catch my 75-year-old Grandmother sitting on her living room couch, watching ESPN, with a Newport 100 cemented to the corner of her lip, and hoop earrings hanging down the side of her face. If you look out my front window, you can see gangs of little Black girls playing tag with their little boyfriends, or jumping rope, while their hoop earrings bounce, and shake like tambourines at a Sunday service.

Check this out: Wypipo literally stole HUMANS from another continent. With that being said, them stealing anything else seems rather easy, if you ask me.

Black people have and will always find new ways to express themselves through fashion, business, art, and entertainment. Black people in this country have been crushing standard American culture for years, and in the process have gotten criminalized and dehumanized for their valuable innovativeness. The oppressors, (a.k.a. the culture vultures), find ways to pimp and make money off of Black people’s ideas and their twang, then it’s a wrap. The “white stamp,” is added, which strips away the “negative” connotation that the idea held when it was all Black. We live in a world where many think that there is something wrong with Black people and their culture, so the people who create and subscribe to it, are deemed as inferior.

I remember my uncle telling me as a child, “You can’t have nothin! Those Wypipo steal every damn thing. If you leave a bowl of white rice on the table, you’ll come back, and the rice will be brown. Those Wypipo stole the damn white off the rice!” Although I never understood, I used to laugh because my uncle had Dave Chapelle level talent. Back then, I too was fooled by racist ideas, believing that my uncle was just an angry Black man, creating myths about racism and the thievery of whites. However, my uncle was right. He was warning me about Kylie Jenner, who recently stole PLUGGEDNYC’s army fatigued two-piece clothing idea, and tried to pass it off as her own. Are we really gonna act like we didn’t see Destiny’s Child’s Survivor video, when they killed the two-piece army fatigue get up? Remeber everyone was calling them “ghetto?” My uncle was warning me about Wypipo stealing our cornrows hairstyle, and calling them “box braids.” Throughout my Uncle’s sporadic comedic outburst, he warned me about the cultural (mis)appropriation that now hangs heavy on our social media timelines.

Some people will fail at trying to make points such as,“Well Black women want to be white because they straighten their hair.” Don’t forget we live in country that has and still denies Black women jobs, and suspend little girls from school, who wear their natural hair. Don’t forget that Black just became beautiful in this country, like yesterday. Don’t forget that there was once a time when the words “beauty,” “pure,” and “human,” were synonymous with white, and “demonic,” “stupidity,” “ugly,” and many other derogatory terms were synonymous with being Black. This conditions people to consume and produce racist ideas. Therefore, save that “Black people want to be white bullshit,” because we know how we got here.

Black people add flavor not only to Black culture, but to the entire world. Take a second and think of ALL of the Blackness that drips from every crevice of the globe. (count at least 5-Mississippi’s). Ok, now think of how EMPTY the world would be without Black people and their creativity? It would be an empty-unseasoned-stiff-pale ass world, I’m telling you. Imagine a world without Nas, Serena Williams, Oprah, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, your drunk & funny uncle, and your lionhearted mother who raised four kids on her own. Imagine a world without Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, Nina Simone, Angela Davis; and MY GAWD, RIHANNA!? I don’t believe any of us can imagine a world without Bad Gal RiRi.

All of my Black entrepreneurs, fashion icons, artists, innovators, and my people who you can catch eating frozen cups, sitting on marble steps in Baltimore city; always remember that we are the culture, and we will continually to drown the world in our Black sauce. Oh yea, and hoop earrings never left.

Mikea Hugley