‘Black Skin‘ by rising Folk artist Jennifer Kamikazi is a beautiful ode to Black beauty and a critique of Eurocentric conceptions of beauty. The artist told the magazine Our Culture about the motivation behind the song and the process of creating it with the producer Tania Ilyashova: “The song is about black beauty and was inspired by my childhood and growing up in a society with Eurocentric and toxic beauty standards. What makes this song special is that it was made by two friends whose backgrounds could not be any more different. Tania was born and raised in Latvia from the opposite side of the equator from me in Rwanda. This track has triggered numerous conversations between us, conversations which we believe many people should have. These conversations help to eliminate the false idea that racism is a black problem and for every member in society to work towards fighting all forms of discrimination” (Our Culture).
“In case you forgot,
I’ll remind you again
that my black is beautiful”
In the lyrics she soulfully deconstructs the dynamics of racial beauty standards and points to the source of negativity. She highlights that the problem lies within the bias of societies that produce toxic concepts of beauty and project them on others:
“I echo glory like the moon to the sun
I look like God himself, what’s your problem?
What about the temple makes you quiver in fear,
got to be you and I’ll be me my dear.”
In a very personal video (see below), which she released before ‘Black Skin‘, Jennifer Kamikazi shares her views on beauty concepts and the need to see pride in oneself: “You have to find your own validation because the world isn’t going to give it to you. I mean, they will take attributes of who you are and it can only recognize a fading beauty that is here today and gone tomorrow.”
‘Black Skin‘ is available on these platforms. A part of the proceeds of the song will be donated to Barking and Dagenham Racial Equality Council, a local organization that offers support to victims of racial discrimination.