Cultures aren’t costumes: Students reflect on the effects of cultural appropriation


Students of color at Lehigh discuss their feelings on cultures being appropriated for Halloween costumes. Mendez is Mexican, Sato is Japanese, Korean and European, and Connelly is African-American.


” I do feel like blackface has a very toxic history, especially in America. In its creation it was used to show that black people were poor, dumb and stupid for white consumption. I feel like no ones culture should ever be a costume. But I also believe if someone wanted to be a black celebrity for Halloween for example, that doesn’t mean you have to darken your skin.” Jamir Connelly, ’19





“Most people do it to wear it as a costume, and they don’t really try to celebrate the actual costume, they’re just making fun of it.”  – Marcos Lozano Mendez, ’19




“In general cultural appropriation is a huge issue and just kinda comes out in a lot of halloween costumes especially when people are wearing culture and not characters. You can put it on and off and other people can’t. Asian inspired costumes just adds to the idea of Asian people being the perpetual foreigner, that we’re never going to be Americans.”  – Danielle Sato, ’19

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