Why would a young Ghanaian kid in Accra, address me using an American racial epithet? Maybe for the same reason why other dudes were walking around town wearing baggy jeans, timberlands & Triple Phat Geese, in the 90 degree heat. The cultural influence of Hip Hop has been pervasive worldwide. And for good reason - it's a music that lends itself to people literally "making it their own."
But what happens when the template for "what's cool," "what's authentic" and ultimately "what's 'Black'" is based on a stereotype manufactured for sale by a company looking to make a buck off the Black community? It sounds sinister, even hyperbolic, but the implications are real & they are serious. For years I'd travel around the world & the dominant image I'd see of young Black men would be of Gangsters & thugs. And so for young Black men, growing up in such a world the archetype of "authenticity" has actually been a stereotype marketed by industry executives who most likely, don't live anywhere near the "hood."