When “light skinned versus dark skinned,” “light skin privilege” and “colorism” are a topic of conversation and you add “female” to the dynamic, it’s tense. It’s heated. It’s hurtful. But for “men,” it’s jovial. It’s lighthearted. It’s even a tug-of-war game, literally, at Tom Joyner’s annual Fantastic Voyage cruise to the islands of the Caribbean. Men just don’t find it to be a point of contention like women do. No judgment here because its deep-rooted and the direct effect of slavery and White supremacy. And because it was “all we knew” it is a contemporary practice in Black civic, political and social organizations – yes, in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Jidenna, 30, the dandy rapper on Janelle Monae’s Wondaland Records label, with his light skin self, is bringing light skin back. A light skinned Nigerian-American, he comments, “Our family was light. When you’re light-skinned you’re a heavier target for being kidnapped. Because you’re seen as more valuable. You’re seen as white. You have more money. We were robbed. Our family has been assaulted. It’s different. For us, we’ve always been a target. When you come to America, it’s different.” Jidenna Theodore Mobisson’s mother is American and his father is of Igbo Nigerian heritage. Jidenna’s name in the Igbo language means to “embrace the father.”
The three-piece suit and cane toting singer also tells VLADTV, “Although you’re mixed, although you’re lighter, which can have certain privileges…these can represent certain challenges.”
For his smooth remix to “Classic Man,” he tapped Kendrick Lamar who spits, “I got piranha flow, f—kin’ up your designer clothes.”
Check out his swag on the BET red carpet in the pics below.