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The Kindest Lie


A timely and soul-stirring novel about the lies families tell each other and the...
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Is Midnight guilty of cultural appropriation? Do you think his behavior could be interpreted as offensive?

Created: 01/27/22

Replies: 10

Posted Jan. 27, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barrye

Join Date: 07/20/14

Posts: 53

Is Midnight guilty of cultural appropriation? Do you think his behavior could be interpreted as offensive?

Midnight got his nickname from his Black and brown friends from school because he was a little white boy trying to 'act Black.' Is Midnight guilty of cultural appropriation? Do you think his behavior could be interpreted as offensive?


Posted Jan. 28, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 265

RE: Is Midnight guilty of cultural ...

I don’t think Midnight is guilty of cultural appropriation because he’s only responding to what he’s been accustomed to seeing and experiencing. His behavior would be offensive if he had an idea that he was appropriating it and I don’t think he’s aware of it.


Posted Jan. 29, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 564

RE: Is Midnight guilty of cultural ...

Midnight is young enough that his behavior might not be cultural appropriation as much as just trying to fit in and be like his friends. However, I must admit that when I see Caucasian musicians acquire a vocabulary and speech pattern that is increasingly like that of inner-city Black musicians, it is a turn off to me.


Posted Jan. 29, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janetp

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 31

RE: Is Midnight guilty of cultural ...

I don't believe that Midnight is guilty of cultural appropriation. He is realistically portrayed as a young white male who , just like all teenagers, tries to fit in. I taught High School kids and the need to fit in wherever possible is bigger than just about any other need, especially for kids from broken families because of poverty, death of a parent, being small for one's age, anything that makes a kid different from his/her peers. I was surprised to find out Midnight was Caucasian, but it fit in with what I know of many high school aged students.


Posted Jan. 29, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jos

Join Date: 03/14/21

Posts: 161

RE: Is Midnight guilty of cultural ...

There is a fine line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation in some instances which I believe Midnight is an example of. He obviously admired the music and style of his black friends and there seemed to be some acceptance of him by them with giving him a nickname. really you would need to ask those kids how they felt about it to know for sure. If they felt he was doing it out of appreciation, not using it to mock or as a “costume” but truly appreciated their culture and style then maybe they were ok with it.


Posted Jan. 29, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carriem

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 264

RE: Is Midnight guilty of cultural ...

I do not think Midnight is guilty of cultural appropriation basically because he a young teen so he is guilty of trying to fit plus he was not aware that his behavior might be considered offensive to some.


Posted Feb. 02, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 466

RE: Is Midnight guilty of cultural ...

I didn't think that Midnight was guilty of cultural appropriation. We didn't learn about any other white characters who lived in Midnight's neighborhood for him to play with. There is a pecking order in most schools- -Midnight's lower income status, used and tattered clothing, Father's behavior, and damaged arm most likely made him an undesirable companion for middle class white kids. I always got the feeling that Midnight wasn't really close friends with the boys in his group- -a part of the true inner circle. He was just kind of there. Because that was who he was around, Midnight adapted his behaviors and tastes to better fit those of his friends. Maybe he felt like he needed to or they would have told him to go away too. Midnight tried to fit in with whatever group or person he was with (his dad, Ruth). He had already lost his mother and sister; I think Midnight was terrified of being completely alone so he tried really hard to appeal to whomever he was with at the time.

I had forgotten the part of the story where Midnight was reprimanded by a teacher for copying the talk and walk of several black classmates. Instead of explaining to him why his behavior bothered her, the teacher told him it was inappropriate. Midnight didn't understand what that meant. Perhaps if there had been a more honest, open dialogue, Midnight would have been more aware of his behavior and why it concerned his third grade teacher. The "teachable moment" was lost.


Posted Feb. 04, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
windellh

Join Date: 11/05/17

Posts: 72

RE: Is Midnight guilty of cultural ...

Midnight was just trying a place to fit in. There is no cultural appropriation because he is responding to what he has been accustomed to.


Posted Feb. 14, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
xandrabk

Join Date: 04/16/19

Posts: 44

RE: Is Midnight guilty of cultural ...

I don't think Midnight's behavior was intentionally offensive because he was a young child who didn't know any better. If he knew better and understood his effects, it would then be considered offensive.


Posted Feb. 24, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 424

RE: Is Midnight guilty of cultural ...

Midnight's actions looked like cultural appropriation, and may have been a little bit, but I think it started out with him just trying to fit in someplace. There was such an age gap between him and his Gramma, once he lost his Mom he was lost too. He gravitated to kids that were just a bit higher in socioeconomic's than his family and since his family was dirt poor that put him with a black family of similar but just a slight bit better off standards.


Posted Feb. 25, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 280

RE: Is Midnight guilty of cultural ...

As someone above commented, there is a fine line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. I didn't find Midnight to be guilty of cultural appropriation. He is just a teenaged boy desperately trying to fit in somewhere, and he has found his niche in this group of Black and Brown kids who just want what he wants, a sense of connection and belonging.


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