Jillian Graham – “Tiny Jag”
Tiny Jag is a biracial American rapper. Her legal name is Jillian Graham. She reported in grade school she felt like an outsider because of her ethnicity. She was raised in a bi-racial family in the Detroit area and stated her black peers expected her to embody the characteristics of an “inner-city” kid. “I was just confused and I thought, well maybe not fitting in is an identity in and of itself.” She now holds a master’s in criminal justice and sociology, and choices to make music for people from her lifelong search for community.
This past summer Tiny Jag pulled out of an AfroFuture Fest after learning white people would be charged a higher price to attend. She stated “I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial. I have family members that would have, under those circumstances, been subjected to something that I would not ever want them to be in..especially not because of anything that I have going on.” The early bird “people of color” tickets cost $10, while “non-POC” tickets were publicized to cost $20. The rapper reported learning of this when a friend sent her a picture of an instagram advertisement for the show. Tiny Jag called the move “non-progressive and not solution-focused.” She stated on many media outlets “It seems almost like it has spite, and with spite comes hate, and that’s just not obviously going to be a good direction for us to go if we’re looking for positive change.” The event explained that the organizers wanted people of color an equitable chance at enjoying their own community “black Detroit.” Jag was expected to perform music named after her white grandmother “Polly.” She stated she couldn’t perform songs named after her grandmother that would have been charged double to attend.
Makensie Shay McDaniel
Project RACE Teen President Emeritus
Picture Credit: Metrotimes.com