All this to say that the African American vernacular certainly has standard practices and purposes: not just renaming but masking. African American Vernacular English is often spoken to confuse as much as to communicate; it is “untranslatable” because it does not wish to be. Rather, it seeks to divide: black from white, young from old, hip from square.”(p. 129)
People of color have survived centuries of unspeakable violence against our cultures and our spirits. The cultures we have built today, in all their vibrancy and richness, are testaments to our strength and survival. Therefore, they have incredible meaning to us. When white folks just put them on like a pair of shoes, they neutralize years of resistance and celebration. The day when all peoples have equal access to large-scale media, when all peoples can travel with the same freedom, when all peoples have equal and humanized representation in the global cultural landscape, THEN we can talk about cultural exchange and how cultures can benefit from influencing each other. Until then, it’s just plain stealing.
I made a cameo in the original pilot, which was filmed in Morocco. I was a Pentoshi nobleman, and one of the guests at Dany’s wedding to Khal Drogo. However, subsequently we recast the part of Dany, so the entire Morocco wedding sequence was cut, and my brilliant cameo was left on the cutting room floor. I also had investigated the idea of being a head on a spike, and David and Dan were going to put my severed head on a spike at one point, but then they got the quote for what that would cost. Those severed heads are expensive and our budget is tight! So unless I provide my own I don’t get to be a severed head!