On Friday, Ebony Magazine revealed their groundbreaking March 2016 cover, featuring four full-figured black women; designer and style blogger Gabi Gregg, known professionally as Gabifresh, Orange is the New Black actress Danielle Brooks and R&B singers Jazmine Sullivan and Chrisette Michele.
The cover drew praise for celebrating full-figured women, but some felt that Gregg’s presence was problematic because she identifies as both black and bi-racial.
Gregg faced the criticism head on, publishing the following statement to her Twitter account;
“I haven’t been able to get a copy of Ebony yet, I’m really excited to read it! BUT I had someone on snapchat yesterday say they read it and were disappointed to see that I don’t identify as black and that I sounded hypocritical like Stacey Dash 🙁 This actually broke my heart and made me sick to my stomach. I LOVE MY BLACKNESS–LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And could NOT be prouder of it. I’m not exactly sure what I said or how it was written, but I do know that in general I’ve tried to make clear that while I ID as black, it’s important to acknowledge being mixed and talking about the privilege I get from having a white mother, as well as light skin/a certain texture hair etc. I am still learning, but I feel that talking about being mixed allows for a more nuanced conversation about white privilege and colorism. The last thing I want is to sound like Stacey Dash or Tiger Woods, like I am rejecting my blackness and doing the “I’M MIXED NOT BLACK!” thing. I sincerely apologize if it came off that way. I’m also very open to having more conversation about this and hearing what you guys think.”
Here is a screengrab of Gregg’s statement;
Gregg’s bi-raciality is part of who she is and she has never used it to ‘cancel’ her blackness. In that context, the criticism feels out of line.
Ladies, what are your thoughts?