Many dismiss 'cultural appropriation' as a fad dreamt up by students keen to police morality. Was Shakespeare the wrong person to write Othello? Was Bob Dylan racist to sing about civil rights? Do white writers' black characters steal the voices of other authors leaving little room at the top for authentic voices? Is it time for cynics to accept 'cultural appropriation' as a form of post-colonial plunder? Or is the insistence on experience a denial of imagination and creativity essential to a vibrant creative culture?

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