Rapper Kodak Black made headlines last week for saying Keke Palmer was “straight” but he “don’t really like Black girls like that.” Of course, the problematic comments coming from a dark-skinned man got him called out on social media.
So, imagine my surprise at the ESSENCE Festival Day of Service event, co-hosted by Master P, when Kodak himself walked in as we were painting the rec room at Guste Homes, a housing complex for seniors. Keeping in mind that ESSENCE is a brand for the empowerment and celebration of Black women, I had to ask Kodak Black about his comments.
You are at an event by ESSENCE and your comments about Black women not being your preference are in the news.
I conduct myself like I am an average person because I am an average person so I can say what I want when I want to say it. If it was you, you can say I like skinny people, I like fat boys. So I can say I like dark skinned women or I like light skin women. I can say what I want.
Anything you’d say to Black women who have supported you who may have felt a way?
I love all my fans. It’s some beautiful Black women out there, it’s just not my preference to deal with a dark skinned woman. I’m already dark. I like light skinned women.
So do you think there is something wrong with dark skin?
No I have dark skin. But dark skin women are more difficult. I like light skin women. They are more sensitive.
(I heard myself mumble "Oh, Lord" when I played back the short convo.)
The saddest part is that he was sincere in his comments and completely oblivious to how disrespectful they were, in addition to the fact that he reiterated these comments to a dark-skinned Black women at an event filled with dark-skinned women.
Kodak Black is not the first Black man in the spotlight to have such disdain for women who probably look like his mother and sisters. But, if he is bold enough to stand by his derogatory characterization of Black women – at an event hosted by a brand for Black women - we can keep our hard earned coins for someone who doesn’t blatantly disrespect us.
Yes, entertainment has a serious color complex. Yes, the negative stereotypes left over from slavery still are ingrained in our culture, and sadly too many of our own men. Yes, fairer women have been held as the standard of beauty for generations, as a result of white supremacy. Nevertheless, a Black man who doesn’t love his own Black skin or that of the women around him, simply isn’t worthy of our time, attention, selfies or money.
Love to all the beautiful Black women of all shades and to the men of all shades who celebrate us.
We are beautiful. And Kodak Black, you have been declined.
Catch a slew of Black male artists who love Black women this weekend at ESSENCE Festival.
Charreah K. Jackson is ESSENCE Senior Editor, Lifestyle and Relationships and the author of Boss Bride: The Powerful Woman’s Playbook for Love and Success.