What's Columbusing, You Say? We've Got You Covered

Every time we hear the name Christopher Columbus, we can’t help but wonder: “What will be stolen next.”

The term “columbusing” has been around for a minute. “Columbusing” is when a person—often a white person, let’s be real—or a set of people believes that they discovered something that isn’t new. The term is a close cousin to cultural appropriation, which is all about the dominant culture taking from the minority culture.


Throughout history, we’ve seen some columbusing-ass folks.

White people have columbused aspects of black womanhood, gangster culture (which was popularized by black rappers of the 1990's) and even whole-ass holidays.


So, let’s unpack this together. See the entire video above.

Afro-Cuban woman that was born and branded in New York. When León isn't actually creating cool videos, she's thinking of cool videos that she can create.



One of the peeves in my neighborhood is people “discovering” local ethnic food...like, a restaurant isn’t really there until the college kids “approve it” and “spread the word.” It gets so bad that they frequently disparage locals who point out that their wild “discoveries” have been there for decades, we all know about it, and they can kindly knock off the superior attitude because the suddenly ate at the local dumpling house and posted about it on Instagram. Not quite the same, but it’s immediately where my mind went while watching this. 

Latest on The Root

Most Popular