Chains aren’t meant for white people

Graphic by Ayomi Wolff

Graphic by Ayomi Wolff

Sarah Morgan

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Chains. On e-boys and e-girls, tiny little ones, and big ones in layers being re-popularized by this newer subculture. But this “trend” is something that many people, most predominantly black people (in America, at least) wear and have been wearing. So, I suggest if white people are considering pulling up to school adorning a Cuban link: don’t. 

The history of why black people wear chains is unique, and not just a show of wealth or to be flashy. Distrust in banking systems due to centuries of mistreatment led us to wear our wealth. This was the alternative to placing it inside of institutions that once considered us property, and refused us so many services for so long. This, and Shaka Zulu, according to my dad. These aspects effectively make this something I am not okay with seeing on my day-to-day at Wilson. I don’t care how popular they’ve become, popularity doesn’t designate morality.

There is a popular jewelry culture in southern Italy and certain places in Europe, but even chains aren’t all that common. Regardless, do e-girls and e-boys wear chains because they’re all suddenly Italian, or do they wear them because of the prominent black culture in America? The same black culture that many people decide to take part in because it’s different, innovative, and has somewhat bled into popular culture. The same black culture that was bashed for wearing too much bling, and the same culture that white people, and people without the same history, shouldn’t adopt because it’s a trend or convenient. 

Our school, especially the white population, is becoming more aware of the trends plastered all over the internet. It can be seen from the way they dress, the way they dye their hair, and (surprise!) the chains I’ve started to see. 

I’m not worried about a thin gold or silver necklace. I am worried about the fact that there are items being worn specific to my culture, specific to the struggle of my people. Lasting from the beginning of my people in America through the redlining of the sixties. I am worried about a lack of thought when it comes to fashion at Wilson, as cultural appropriation is not something that this audience is unfamiliar with. This is because, once again, things considered “ghetto” by white people, historically, have been picked up and viewed as something new.

It’s not new. It’s just black. •