Azealia Banks Wants to ‘Bleach Her Skin in Peace’

Azealia banks

Harlem rapper Azealia Banks has been in the news lately after accusing Gladiator actor Russell Crowe of hurling racial slurs at her before physically throwing her out of a recent party.

A tearful Banks appeared on Access Hollywood to give her side of the story after initially claiming Crowe called her the n-word and choked her.

According to the rapper, a minor comment started the spat:

“Russell Crowe’s just like, ‘Oh, you haven’t done anything with your career,’” she said. “And I’m just like, ‘Well, nobody’s checkin’ for you right now, so let’s just settle down.’ And then when I said that, the whole table was like, ‘Oh my god, how dare you!’”

Banks’ version of events differed from RZA’s memories of that night. He took to Facebook to explain what happened because Banks was his guest that evening.

“There was nothing funny about her behavior. I felt a little embarrassed because she was my guest. Still verbal abuse can be tolerated but when it goes physical… ,” RZA wrote. “Azealia threatened to cut a girl in the face with a glass, then actually grabs a glass and physically attacks for no logical reason. Russell blocked the attack and expelled her from the suite.”

In addition to her run-in with Crowe, Banks has encountered severe criticism for her pro-skin bleaching stance. Recently, she took to Facebook to sell skin-lightening kits and explain why she “just wants to bleach [her] skin in peace.”

skin bleachers are people too!!!

We have feelings and emotions and it’s not fair to act as if we are aliens or accuse us of self-hate or try to ostracize us from the black community when the world already does a good enough job of ostracizing the black populous from humanity as a whole.


It sucks! And it’s painful and exacerbates the insecurities we may or may not already have.

eve if it IS indicative of mental illness, WHY DO YOU THINK THATS SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT OR POKE FUN AT?!

Everyone’s black experience is different. It’s not all cocoa butter, Christianity, cornbread and collard greens for everyone.

There is a WHOLE community of black people who bleach their skin for WHATEVER reason and it’s about time black folk and people as a whole stop denigrating and accept us for who the f–k we are.

Though many will disagree with Banks’ point of view, in an op-ed for EBONY, Dr. Yaba Blay argued we need to stop with the kneejerk reactions to folks who decide to bleach their skin.

In 2016, what are the parameters of Black self-hate and how is it measured? Is practicing Christianity, a religion that was used to justify the enslavement and colonization of our ancestors, a reflection of self-hate? Or is sending our children to predominately White schools, spaces where they are often one of few Black children, a form of self-hate? What about Predominately White Colleges and Universities (PWCUs)? Or living in all-white cul-de-sacs? Self-hate?

And then there are chemical hair relaxers, products that include ingredients similar if not identical to the ingredients in many skin bleaching agents, products that are placed on our scalps, underneath which lie our brains. Dare I even mention the vast array of “exotic” and very expensive hair extensions – Brazilian, Malaysian, Peruvian, etc. Where is the discussion of self-hate now? What is our investment in supporting one aspect of a White aesthetic for Black women, yet completely rebuking another? Could it be that we continue to seek social acceptance based upon what it means to look “civilized” in the eyes of the rest of the “civilized” world? (Respectability, anyone?) Could be, but if you understand my point, then you can begin to understand the complexities of the skin bleaching phenomenon, and thus the limitations of the “self-hate” diagnosis. If skin bleachers suffer from self-hatred, then in some ways, so too do we all.

There are levels to this.

While we don’t know what actually happened between Banks and Crowe and her penchant for skin bleaching causes many to be uncomfortable, what’s clear is that all of her public skirmishes are detracting from her music, which may be the biggest problem of them all.