Another gem:12 Words Black People Invented, And White People Killed
Let's not forget to give credit where credit is due.
Lately, there's been a lot of talk about cultural appropriation and black culture -- the coopting of traditionally black: hairstyles, fashion, and music. But perhaps it's time to take a step back and revisit what might be the most appropriated aspect of black culture -- black slang.
From "the bomb" to "holla" to the very short-lived "YOLO," black slang words often go through the cycle of being used by black people, discovered by white people, and then effectively "killed" due to overuse and a general lack of understanding of how to use these words. Often, the origin of these words aren't even acknowledged -- "twerk," had literally been around for over a decade before Miley Cyrus brought it to the mainstream (ie. white people).
The politics of black slang are tricky. Black slang and AAVE (African-American Vernacular English) have long been considered inferior to so-called "standard" English, and the black people who use it seen as uneducated or unintelligent (forcing many to master the art of code-switching). So when suddenly words and phrases that have strong ties to the black community are adopted and warped by non-black people, it can cause some of us to feel indignant, even insulted.