An African-American woman who buys jewelry in the U.S. should not be expected to give it back to her country because she wants it back, according to a new book about African- Americans’ history of buying jewelry.
In the book, “The Legacy of Black American Jewelry,” published by Simon & Schuster, author and educator Michael Oakes describes how African- American women have historically been willing to hand over jewelry that is of high value, but he says the current culture of buying from retailers who do not respect their beliefs should be changed.
“I think that jewelry should be valued for what it is: it’s jewelry,” Oakes told CNN.
“I would like to see African- America women, black women, give up their jewelry, take the jewelry back to their homeland, or sell it for a decent price.”
Oakes said he started his book with an article in the Wall Street Journal about a white woman named Angela B. Smith who purchased $500 worth of jewelry from a New York jewelry store.
Smith had been living in the South and was living in New Orleans.
Oakes said jewelry is a sacred commodity and the women who collect it often feel guilty about giving it to their families. “
So I wrote the book to try and explain to black women that jewelry is not something that you get by being the best of the best, that jewelry has value.”
Oakes said jewelry is a sacred commodity and the women who collect it often feel guilty about giving it to their families.
He said jewelry should only be handed over to a trusted person, and should not go into the hands of a stranger.
Oakes, who teaches in the department of African American Studies at the University of Virginia, said he has heard from many African-american women who have said that they are afraid to return jewelry because they are not comfortable with it.
He added that the idea of giving it back is a big reason why African- women who are buying jewelry are so reluctant to do so.
“The black community, I think, is so ashamed of what it has done to this community that they don’t want to do anything about it,” he said.
Oaks said that jewelry stores do not honor African- americans’ beliefs, and instead they offer products that are designed for white women.
Oakes also said that people who wear jewelry in America are expected to wear it in a way that does not honor the cultures of African- men.
“People who wear a traditional head-to-toe head covering in America don’t have to wear a head covering to be accepted as a part of a black community,” he wrote in the book.
“In the African- and African-descended world, African- people have long been expected to dress in a certain way, to wear certain clothes, to be treated as equals.”
Oaks believes that the current cultural acceptance of African people buying jewelry should also be changed so that black women and people of color are not expected to do the same things.
“There’s a lot of things that we are still doing that are not accepted,” he told CNN, adding that he has spoken with other African-Amrican people who say that they have stopped buying jewelry because of cultural expectations.
“We should not have to buy a ring for a friend because she’s wearing a necklace,” he added.
Oceans, who is from South Carolina, said that the jewelry business has been so ingrained in the culture that she felt that she had to give her mother-in-law the ring back when it was stolen in 2001.
“My mom-in law had been wearing it since she was a child, and it had been stolen when it arrived in our town.
I think the way that the black community has accepted the rings and the bracelets is by the way they have been used,” she said.