As a fan of Justin Timberlake’s music (not his life choices), I must say that I am perplexed by how casual he was about sharing with the world that he’s going “back to his roots” with his new album, Man of the Woods. White people wanting to go back to their roots makes me nervous. What does that even mean? Am I alone when I immediately think of slavery and plantations? I know that’s a limited view of white history, but seriously!
OK, OK—I’m just being funny, but there is a real problem here. It’s the idea of white artists shaking their little (read: flat) tail feathers over into black culture and attempting to embody our God-given swag, just to regurgitate it as some seasoningless byproduct of what black folks have already mastered. White artists like Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Elvis Presley and so many more have used black music to gain popularity, and now Timberlake wants to shed that appropriation (good) and embrace his good ol’ country Tennessee roots.
Check out this week’s Judge of Characters video to see why this irritates my entire (neo) soul.