David Lammy defends Adele after her 'cultural appropriation' Notting Hill Carnival outfit
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Labour MP David Lammy has defended Adele over claims of cultural appropriation, following backlash for an image she posted on social media, and it's sparked quite a debate on whether the singer is culturally appropriating or appreciating.

The British singer attracted criticism from some fans over the weekend after sharing a photo on Instagram showing her in a Jamaican flag bikini top and with her hair in Bantu knots on what would have been Notting Hill Carnival.

People pointed out that Adele’s hairstyle was a form of cultural appropriation, as Bantu knots are traditionally worn by African women, or those of African descent. Many also thought her top was somewhat offensive.

Every year, thousands of people crow into the streets of London for Notting Hill Carnival, the biggest celebration of Caribbean culture anywhere in the world (outside of the Caribbean) and one of the world’s largest festivals. This year, it was cancelled because the size and location in a big city made it too much of a risk during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Following an almost immediate backlash some fans and black public figures, including Lammy, have come to the singer’s defence on social media suggesting that there could be a division of opinion.

Some people suggested that, after observing social media reactions, there seems to be a big difference between African-Americans and Black Britons when it comes to opinions on cultural appropriation.

Of course, it would be unfair and sloppy to make such a sweeping generalisation as some Black British people of Jamaican descent believed Adele was wrong to have shared the image, while British-Jamaicans such as Lammy, Naomi Campbell and singer Alexandra Burke saw nothing wrong in it.

Meanwhile, this conversation also sparked debates and attempts to clarify what cultural appropriation actually is.

Many social media users used it as an opportunity to remind their followers that “cultural appropriation operates as part of a structural power dynamic where the ‘appropriating’ actors belong to an advantaged group.”

And that Adele would be wrong if she claimed her look as her own.

This social media user also took this approach in highlighting the differences between cultural appropriation and appreciation.

Upshot: it's complicated.

Adele’s representatives haven’t responded to a request for comment.

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