Note to Miley: Be Influenced by Black Culture – Don’t Try to Imitate It

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What the Beatles didn’t do, however, was don Afro wigs in an attempt to look black, or imitate Berry’s duck walk on stage, or try to sing his “dirty,” song, “My Ding-A-Ling,” probably because they were about art and not titillation.

The Beatles also didn’t try to mimic the choreography of the Miracles, either – probably because they knew they’d look more ridiculous than, say, a butt-less and rhythm-less Cyrus trying to twerk.

They knew better. She did not.

Still, I pity the fact that this child apparently has so little talent, or so much desperation, that she has no clue as to how to dig deeper into a culture to find an aspect of it that doesn’t reduce her to a punch line, and, in turn, make that culture fodder for observations in pathology.

Since Cyrus’ VMA performance, for example, ABC published a story online in which a fitness expert analyzes twerking, and The New York Times published a piece in which a writer tries to explain how parents should explain twerking to their children.

They need to get a grip.

Obviously Cyrus was aiming for attention, and she got it. But what’s sad is that because she went for the sensationalism, the pressure will be on her to out-outrageous herself, not to turn her pathetic attempt at imitating an urban dance trend into something more original; into a performance that won’t have audiences giggling or grimacing.

Or, for that matter, throwing up in their mouths.

Tonyaa Weathersbee is an award-winning columnist based in Jacksonville, Fla. Follow her @tonyaajw. Or like her on Facebook at

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10 thoughts on “Note to Miley: Be Influenced by Black Culture – Don’t Try to Imitate It

  1. Well written and very true. However, I was surprised by some/most of the comments to the article. It is just very sad the way we are so disrespectful towards each other, but are so quick to uplift other races…just leaves me scratching my head.

  2. You lost me when you claimed “twerking” to be a part of black culture. Twerking and culture do not belong in the same sentence, let alone defined as part of one’s culture. We have enough negative stereotypes to combat on a daily basis, let’s not voluntarily add nonsense like “twerking” to the list.

  3. I feel sorry more for black people more than for Miley we have fallen so far that we now want to claim twerking and raunchy behavior as black culture? I say let Miley have it and lets clean ourselves up before degenerate culture becomes completely synonymous with black culture.

  4. Joke is on blackhos who twerk…we’d bone her first! She’s got her own money and she won’t put a baby on us!!! Ask Snoop and Juicy!

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