Colorism: “prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.”
Remember “Dark Girls” ? The documentary aired on the OWN network in 2011. I believe the documentary highlighted some of the issues of colorism in the black community. It shined on the “Dark” skin girls experience. Listening to the women that shared similar stories as mine, but from another point of view.
“Mellow Yellow!” “White girl!” “Yella bitch!” “You not black!” “Your momma or daddy white?” “You’re too light.” “I like you because of your skin color.” “You’ll win because you’re light skin.” “You dance white!” “You talk white!” I’ve heard it all, I was teased and still teased.
Dating While Light:
In high school I was approached by a guy who said he gave me a double take because I was light. Now if you know me, I’ve been more involved with light skin men. Not because I don’t like other guys of different complexions or races. I’ve just been approached more by those guys.
I’m now instantly turned off by guys that say they love my complexion or “our skin tones look good together”. I’ve had white men tell me, “you’re not too black but you’re cute for whatever you are.”
Let’s not forget the white women that looked at me with these piercing looks because I was in a club on Washington Ave in Saint Louis, MO and a white guy was talking to me. We exchanged numbers and I instantly felt like “that black girl”. You’re either not black enough or too black.
Awhile back, I sat down to grab a bite to eat and drink with a good friend that is a white male , that I’ve known for about 15 years at the time. We laughed, we hugged, and we enjoyed ourselves.
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At this Mexican restaurant I was the only Black person in there, but I didn’t realize until later that I was the only “spook” in there. I assume I was mistaken for being Hispanic because one of the waiters came up and told him I was “trouble” , whatever that meant.
My friend and I continued our conversation, we caught up the family then we hit the topic about how interracial couples are looked at in all environments; the privilege versus non-privilege , and how complexions are what separate Black Americans.
I told him later I felt like the more we talked and laughed we were being observed. No one knew we were friends that haven’t seen one another in a very long time and always enjoyed being around one another.
You can say we dated, briefly. He realized some White Americans didn’t agree with the idea of interracial couples. I remember us sitting at a bar in the Saint Louis City area. We were talking, as I watch him get distracted by a man sitting behind me.
He was starting to get upset and I eventually got him to calm down, but that’s when I told him, everyone hasn’t adapted to change. People will make faces and have their opinions, but we have to ignore the ignorance.
My daughter’s father is biracial and both of my parents are Black, she is very light, and she has the same name as her cousin but it is spelled differently.
These two are different complexions and when they were younger the kids would call them the Black one and the White one. Luckily another kid stepped in and changed that, now they are used their initials to identify the one they want. The idea that kids decided to separate them by color is very crazy, but adults do it too.
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Being light skin:
It’s one of those things, I appreciate because I can’t change it, and I’m still black. I don’t think I’m better than anyone.
It’s obvious that others pay attention to the color of their skin. Being Black is already difficult without other Blacks comparing ourselves to one another.
I’m still Black and this Black is beautiful. My birth certificate doesn’t say, “yella”, “redbone”, or “highlighter”.
Light Skin Versus Dark Skin: Colorism; Still Hurting The Black CommunityThe reality is, this world we live in divides us enough, in the words of Jane Elliot “God created one race, THE HUMAN RACE. Human beings created racism”. The human race is what allowed colorism to pin people of lighter and darker complexions against one another. We then allowed ourselves to create animosity towards one another, by how one person treats or accepts another person.
I’ve been in situations where I was treated unfairly by a person that’s darker than me, I later found out in conversation , that person was unfairly treated by someone lighter complexion. This created a downward spiral of aimless retaliation.
No matter who I date, I’m Black. Many would disagree or say I can’t be “Pro-Black”, but the definition of being pro is “in favor of”; yes , I’m in favor of Black males, I’m not against. I can date and still represent myself as a woman of color. Even if it’s a “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” moment or step in the room with my beautiful family members of beautiful hues of Black.
Yes, I agree with Jane Elliot, “God created one race, THE HUMAN RACE. Human beings created racism”. Then I also agree with Issa Rae, “I’m rooting for everybody Black”, because I’m rooting that we understand our greatness no matter what. I root that we work together as a human race that we are inferior but superior to those that can’t see the benefit of equality.
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