Upon reading the intriguing article about ganguro (“I’m Gonna Git You Osaka,” 8/13), I was compelled to respond to Iona Brown’s attitude toward Japanese culture as portrayed therein.
Brown does not seem to understand that in an era defined by increasing internationalization, national cultures increasingly feed off each other. Furthermore, she fails to realize that her own subculture has gained prominence only due to commercialization by its (black) creators and the enthusiastic embrace of its multiracial audience. In fact, to judge from Brown’s comments, she thinks African-American culture should be disseminated only among the 13 percent of the U.S. population that is black.
Luckily, people at Yale (her alma mater) don’t think in this manner.
Finally, before Brown speaks shallowly about how ganguro can’t imagine the black experience, she needs to look around her at the many products made in Japan that Americans use. She then needs do a little research on the Japanese experience. Maybe then she will understand how and why the ganguro have come about. It has much less to do with African-American culture than one would think.