Model, exotic dancer, and entrepreneur, Achonti Shanise is bi-racial and takes pride in her black heritage. When she was questioned on what her thoughts were on racism in New York strip clubs, she had a lot to say on the issue.
After moving to New York from California, Achonti Shanise took up exotic dancing and found that dancers’ earnings are sometimes dependent upon the dancers race.
According to BlackFeminism.com, after interviewing 12 Black and Latina women from NYC and Oakland, “dancers express having to manage racism as men offer money to white women over women of color, leading them to earn less. Some conceal their racial identity or engage in racial passing. Mixed women express being able to perform multiple ethnicities for customers. Darker women have to perform extra emotional labor.”
Racism in strip clubs is frequently couched in words like “upscale” or “urban.” And it’s common for clubs to practice hiring quotas where an owner may prefer more white women and fewer women of color. The Toronto Sun reported that a dancer was considering filing a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission when a strip club told her that the club wasn’t hiring black dancers.
Fortunately for Achonti Shanise and other dancers of color, there are other forms of revenue streams aside from the strip clubs. There’s modeling, hosting events, and selling your own hair products. Achonti has been able to successfully promote own hair products at Crown Curls.
Follow her on Instagram @achontishanise