While the focus on Miley Cyrus’ VMA appearance has been primarily on the sexualized nature of the performance, there’s an undeniable racial element to the whole thing as well. I found two articles to be most helpful in exploring these issues: Tressie McMillan Cottom’s “Brown Body, White Wonderland,” and Leigh Alexander’s “On Twerking “And Being Mixed Race.” If you’re sick of the whole thing, take heart. These pieces take the attention off of Miley and direct us to the often unforeseen consequences that can result from racial appropriation.
ELSEWHERE: The Racial Impact of Miley’s Twerking Debacle
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Richard H. Clark is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture. He has a Master of Arts in Theology and the Arts from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He lives in Louisville, Ky. He is also the managing editor of Gamechurch and a freelance writer for Unwinnable, Paste, and other outlets.
E-mail: clarkrichardh [at] gmail [dot] com.