From making music that everyone can relate to, to creating TikTok famous dances. We, the black community, dominate the entertainment industry. We are the trailblazers and pioneers. Yet, we are constantly not recognised by other communities for our creativity. Being black has become a trend that has made many celebrities millions of dollars.
There was a huge controversy over Dani Leigh’s song ‘Yellow Bone’. In her song she sings about how her partner wants a yellow boned woman. The most interesting part of it all is that Dani Leigh is not a black or mixed race woman. This song sent the whole of Twitter into a frenzy, including myself. She was accused of being a colourist and linching black culture. Situations like this have me wondering why we allow these types of people in our circles? Why do we allow them to portray our culture and abuse it in the way that they do?
Dani Leigh is not the only celebrity who has been accused of colourism. In 2017 Cardi B was put on blast for using the word ‘roach’ when referring to darker-skinned women of colour. Celebrities such as Cardi B have been accepted by the black community; however they have at times failed to show respect and hommage to the culture that has made them rich and famous. Never have Cardi B or Dani Leigh claimed to be black. When we as darker-skinned black women complain about the disrespect that we experience from these celebrities, we are faced with a war which is often led by the very black men that fail to protect us.
We are then made to feel as if we complain a lot and for no reason, when that’s not the case. We demand respect because we deserve it. For years we have felt like outcasts in our own community. What we need is for celebrities such as Dani Leigh to stop exacerbating the problems we have in our community and stop creating conflicts between Black women of all shades. And finally, stop claiming to be black when it only suits their pockets.
Being black is not a trend, it's a lifestyle. We don’t get to take off our skin every time we come home and hang it on a coat rack. We don’t head down to a dress up store and buy a black costume and pretend to be part of a culture that is not ours. Our blackness is who we are 24/7. We have to suffer the good and the bad that comes with it. Especially as Black women.
Black women are the most disrespected individuals in society. Seen as less than lighter skin women who are glorified by rappers and movie producers. Colourism is already a huge problem in our community and has been for years, so the last thing that we need is a song such as Dani Leigh's to cause extra issues. We have to put an end to letting outsiders come in and abuse our culture.
Being Black is not a trend, it's a lifestyle that we have to live until our last breath on this earth.
Written by Chrissie Okorie