Other critics warned that by exposing the style and culture to a whiter, more mainstream audience, appropriation was likely to follow.
“A few years from now when this becomes a staple at PWIs and white girls are active participants, you people will start to sing a different tune. Not everything needs to have general/wider acceptance,” wrote one Twitter user.
Harris believes that the backlash directed toward Lang and the Cardinal Divas was likely rooted in frustration over the amount of media attention it generated, coupled with the challenges faced by the average HBCU majorette dance line. They’re systemically underfunded, face threats of racial violence, and, just like Black content creators online, worry that theircreative output will be appropriated by non-Black audiences.
Lang called the criticisms “mind-boggling” and refused to let them deter her from making her mark, especially amid conversations about racial justice on college campuses.
“We’re having all of these courses and talks around diversity, inclusion, and equity, and I did not see any of that being showcased,” she said. “So this is my way of not just talking about it, but actually doing something about it and making room for us because I know that if I felt like this, there was another Black girl on campus that was also gonna feel like this.”
And step by step, things are changing. Williams was recruited to perform in the official video for Mac’s single, which premiered on YouTube two weeks ago. It capitalizes on the virality of the dance and ensures that she would be credited as the creator, a challenge Black dancers once struggled to overcome on TikTok, where the algorithm would erase them altogether. In contrast, white creators were pushed to the forefront — think of Addison Rae performing dance challenges on Jimmy Kimmel.
“I’m very, very thankful for the support and the credit that I’m getting from the people who are mentioning me because it’s been out a little minute, and a lot of people still don’t know I’m the creator,” Williams said.
The issues are deeper than dance. Majorette is spiritual, explained Lang, which is why she is relentless in making space for it wherever she goes.
“You’re not just using your body; you’re using your soul,” she said. “People feel when you’re dancing, and I feel like that’s one of the differences between majorette and every other style of dance.” ●
The post The “No Love” Challenge Is Bringing Majorette Culture To TikTok, And Here’s Why The Black Style Of Dance Matters appeared first on BuzzFeed News.