it’s that SO MANY BLACK WOMEN (cis hetero ones in particular, cuz no cis glb/ queer or trans women i interact with have uttered this shit) are talking about nicki being “conveniently pro black” or “conveniently race conscious.” now, i understand that black celebrities potentially destroy their careers the second they speak up for racial justice. i am perfectly clear, though, that as long as you are black in this world and have any understanding of or opinion on narratives into which you’re forced, you ARE race conscious. it isn’t about someone out-blacking another person by fanon quotes or making some radical transformation the second they have their grand negro awakening. especially when most of us haven’t even had that. all this chatter indicates one very specific attitude: nicki isn’t relatable to you, so you don’t want her representing you. that’s understandable. you don’t like her music or her sculptured/ surgered body? aight. does it change the obvious misogynoiristic blowback she experiences, especially because of the cover of “anaconda?” no, boo. it does not. does this mean she cannot speak up for herself against said misogynoir? no. it does not. further, does her at times problematic choice of lyrics mean she’s somehow not impacted by the same damaging shit all black women and girls face constantly? I can live without her casual references to rape. I’m not okay with the nappy headed hoes thing, for reasons. i know that the most effective emcees use metaphors, imagery, onomatopoeia, and all other poetic devices in their songs. this isn’t an excuse. if you don’t like what she says, that’s peace. it seems over and over again that folks forget you don’t have to relate to or like someone to affirm their fucking humanity. that includes nicki. the message i get over and over again from folks: she’s not the right kind of black woman to be bringing this shit up. she isn’t scholarly enough, not dignified enough, way too ratchet … shall i go on? it’s gatekeeping, imo. there is a marked difference between deciding you don’t want someone to speak for you and saying “you aren’t good enough to be part of a group to which i belong.” so, I’m sayin … good job. you’re doing the work that destroys black women and girls all the time. for each one of us who is black, there is a unique blackness we embody. and it seems to me that the only “wrong” way to be black is to wield your identity as a weapon against another black person.
Ike & Tina Turner (backed by the Ikettes) - River Deep, Mountain High