Listen to this article here
Last week, I tweeted a question: What if Taylor Swift tried to bite Jazmine Sullivan’s Heaux Tales album and came out with a “Heather Tales”? Well, something similar actually happened this week.
I was scrolling through Twitter and came across a tweet from my homie, Dr. Charles Cole, about a woman named Jennifer Buck.
Hey folks, real quick, I know people are busy but THIS BOOK was written by THIS LADY.
I'm a "live & let live" cat & not on the outrage tip but just thought that cats that follow me should know so they don't accidentally buy it.
Jennifer Buck, you wildin'!
Ok, bye! pic.twitter.com/bi600CMgIq
— Charles Cole, III, Ed.D., MPA (@ccoleiii) April 15, 2022
Jen wrote a book called Bad and Boujee: Toward a Trap Feminist Theology. On the cover of this book is a beautiful, dark-skinned Black woman with a glorious afro. The synopsis on Amazon reads:
This book engages with the overlap of black experience, hip-hop music, ethics, and feminism to focus on a subsection known as “trap feminism” and construct a Trap Feminist Theology. Interacting with concepts of moral agency, resistance, and imagination, Trap Feminist Theology seeks to build an intersectional theology emphasizing women’s agency in their bodies and sexuality while also remaining faithful to the “trap” context from which they are socially located.”
Sounds kind of interesting, right? The book cover and summary give the impression that it was written by a Black woman and would possibly attract Black women, since it’s about us.
But guess what? Jennifer Buck is a White woman–a White woman who published and is selling a book about the Black experience. I can’t make this stuff up. It’s on Amazon for the world to see.
Karen capitalizes off Black women
The thought briefly crossed my mind that maybe Jen has a Rachel Dolezel complex. Maybe she convinced herself she’s a Black woman and can speak to the experience of Black women. But, that would be giving her too much credit. And, she’s apparently deleted and disabled reviews on Amazon, muting the voices of Black women challenging her credibility.
Can y’all go read @JoLuehmann’s IG stories please? A white professor at Azusa Pacific wrote this book, and she’s deleting Amazon reviews and IG comments with questions about why she would write this book. 👇
Bad and Boujee: Toward a Trap Feminist Theology https://t.co/BvIl3PUMCY
— Meghan | The Pursuing Life (@thepursuinglife) April 13, 2022
So nope, she’s just a White woman whose blasphemy falls under the appropriation category in exploiting the culture and coin of Black women. I’m declaring her “Cultural Appropriation Karen” and inducting her into the Karen Hall of Shame.
Jen committed two cultural appropriation violations. First, she stole “trap feminist” without consulting with or giving adequate credit to the Black women that created the term and built on the ideology. She committed intellectual property theft.
Author Sesali Bowen wrote a book called Bad Fat Black Girl: Notes From a Trap Feminist and first coined the term “trap feminism” in 2012. However – and straight from Sesali herself – Buck did not reach out to her to ask permission to use the terminology nor even quote her in the book. Bowen only received a measly footnote and a private “appreciate your writing”.
It’s a classic example of attempts to erase Black women and co-opt our creativity and genius.
Second, as RDJ said on Twitter, Cultural Appropriation Karen is “catfishing” buyers in an attempt to profit socially or financially from a minority group. It reminds me of when Bath and Body Works tried to sell us those mahogany teakwood candles dressed in kente cloth during Black History Month.
Black people have an estimated 1.3 trillion dollars in spending power, but we’re some of the most impoverished people in the country. We’re constantly marketed to and preyed on but our communities and businesses have been denied meaningful investment.
Anyone that failed to do their due diligence in Googling Jennifer Buck would probably assume from the image on the book sleeve, title and abstract that she’s a Black woman. They’d be duped by a scheme to manipulate the spending of Black people by using our culture as the appeal to boost her capital gain.
But, Cultural Appropriation Karen’s plot was foiled by diligent Black women and allies who weren’t going to stand for her fraudulence. By the power and surge of social media outrage, the book will be pulled from publication and distribution.
— Sesali Bowen (@BadFatBlackGirl) April 14, 2022
So let this be a lesson to all of the Karens that think about trying it. Black women are protective of our genius, creativity and culture. From here on out, y’all need to find your own.