There’s a saying in the Black community that “everyone wants to be Black until it’s time to be Black.” The claim comes from the notion of non-Black people who might identify with aspects of urban pop culture but are quick to use their privilege when the pressure is on.
When it comes to ways of identifying with Black culture, guilty culprits can either change their style of dress, alter their looks, or completely change their speech to give off the essence of African American culture. A “Blaccent” is a term used to describe the fake accent racists and cultural appropriators use when they mimic Black people,” Mikki Kendall, an author and diversity consultant told CNN.
But not all Blaccent users are racists. The Urban Dictionary describes a “Blaccent” as a manner of speaking indicative of the stereotypical African American (or someone trying to sound as such).
When it comes to Blaccents, there are a number of celebrities who have been accused of the practice. These famous faces have seemingly changed the way they speak as their level of popularity takes new heights. The below celebrities have been called out for possibly trying to use a Blaccent to relate to the masses of Black culture appreciators and appropriators.
Pop star Ariana Grande is one celebrity who went years without being accused of cultural appropriation until her stardom reached superstar status. Back in 2018, Ariana sat down with Billboard where she reviewed a few of her old childhood pictures. It was in this video where the “Thank U, Next” singer was first accused of using a Blaccent.
While looking at a photo of herself as a toddler the singer said:
“I’m like b***h, that’s my cookie, that’s my juice, okay. Carry on. Thank you next, that’s what this baby picture says.”
While the moment was innocent in nature and just Ariana making a light joke about herself, many on social media accused the songstress of trying to sound like a Black woman.
“Her voice goes from normal to trying to imitate a black woman,” one person tweeted in response to the video. “Why is she trying to sound like Beyoncé,” another person wrote.
Ariana has never addressed the Blaccent accusations and enjoys living a life of privacy and seclusion away from social media. The Blackfishing comments likely took a toll on the singer, which is completely understandable. However, it doesn’t raise the question of whether or not Ariana changed her voice after her days starring in Disney’s Sam & Cat.