Black is Black but not too Black
Every time she cries, I think of me.
Every time she feels ugly, I think of me.
Every time he says how unattractive she is, I think of me.
Dear Young Dark-Skin Black Women;
I see you,
Your beauty is not dependent on what men think.
I know words can be hurtful, and your listening.
I know you want to be seen, and you're watching
I know you want to be admired and loved and you are both things
You don't have to get off social media, but you do need to protect yourself from men who may look like you.
If you need to take a break, take one.
Connect with yourself. Write down the things you love most about you.
What do you offer the world?
What are your capabilities?
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
What do the voices say that's inside of you?
Take care of your spirit, and your spirit will take care of you.
You are unique.
Colorism is both interracial and intraracial; it has been around for a very long time. It is all a part of white supremacy. White supremacy believes the white race is superior to all races; therefore, they should have all the privileges.
Many things formed out of racism, such as poverty, mental health, violence and many other health concerns. Interracial issues are big news since the killing of George Floyd, Covid-19 caused many people to sit at home and watch the murder of a handcuffed black man. I chose not to watch, but most of the world did, and it made everyone feel that they needed to respond. It bothers me to my core that it took a grown man dying for the world to see what happens to black people. If people in power looked they would see that the data supports what black people have been saying for years, white supremacy is a problem.
Why are white people white?
Biologists suggest people migrated away from the sun, causing a lightening effect because modern humans were darker. A host of theories have been reviewed, but there is nothing conclusive.
Why are black people black?
Black skin is rich in melanin pigments; the darker the surface is, the richer it is.
Now let's talk about intraracial issues. Intraracial is also known as shadeism. Shadeism is discriminating against people within your race based on their skin tone. There are over 50 shades of black. To make things easier, I will reference light and dark only in this blog. While we acknowledge discrimination outside our communities, there tends to be a reluctance to talk about it openly and honestly within our communities.
When I mention shadeism to other black people, they said I was sensitive and now isn't the time, but my question is, when is the right time to discuss shadeism in the Indian, Caribbean and Latino community? When is it the right time?
I see many young dark skin girls crying on Tik Tok, an app that many young people use. They are crying because boys who look like them are saying derogatory things. Here are some of the things some young black boys are saying;
"black girls are ugly, especially dark ones."
"White or light skin women are cleaner."
"Dark skin black girls are ugly."
"Dark skin girls are low class."
"she is pretty for a dark skin girl."
Imagine hearing this continuously, how are these young girls suppose to feel. Why are these young black men saying these things? Some of their moms, sisters and cousins are dark skin. I often hear black men say they have a preference, but I think it's deeper than that. It may be a lack of appreciation for melanin and not because they don't like it but because they don't understand it because we don't talk about it enough to them. How often are we telling young dark skin black boys how beautiful they are.
I remember growing up and hearing things like "stay out of the sun, so you don't get too dark," so I assumed being dark was terrible. Then I was told, "you're pretty for a dark skin girl," I thought this made me stand out because there were not too many dark skin attractive women, but these things were not true. This was only my thinking based on beliefs that had formed in my mind.
I was lucky my parents did not make any colorist statements when I was growing up. However, I heard it at school, the community centre, and I even saw it in the media.
All-female leads to this day is light skin, and when you see a dark skin female, she is usually cast in a minor role, most likely vilified or hyper-sexualized, I can't blame it on other races because some shows are black writers, so why are we continuing to do this to ourselves?
Even some statistics show that dark skin girls are three times as likely to get suspended from school than their light-skinned peers. Dark-skinned women have fewer opportunities to join specific jobs such as journalists, sales associates, flight attendants, models, actresses and receptionists; these jobs require high interaction with the public. The darker you are, you may be seen as unattractive.
When a dark-skin person has had enough of the ridicule from both white and black people, some decide to bleach their skin. Bleaching your skin is a form of self-mutilation. It's using strong chemicals to counteract the melanin in your skin. The link below shows some harmful products that will disrupt and irritate your skin. Please select the link and avoid any products with these things in it.
Azeila Banks and countless others make a decision to bleach their skin each year.
The skin whitening industry is expected to earn 20 billion dollars by the end of this year (India alone will exceed 400 Million). People are making billions because some people are unaware of the value of melanin. Dark skin people are being exploited and told they would live a more fulfilling life if they had lighter skin. This was usually an industry dominated by women, but now men are also being tricked into bleaching their skin a matter of fact, an Indian cosmetic company called Emami launched, and they have a Fair and Handsome cream for men. India is straightforward with its colorist ways; they are open and honest; it is all over Bollywood.
I reside in a large Asian community. There is a lot of tension between black Canadians and Indians; some may suggest that colorism plays a major role in that tension.
We have to acknowledge the need for change outside our communities from white power structures, and we also have to recognize how we are contributing to such discrimination within our communities.
I have created a webinar called Complexities of Complexion. The first one will be on August 14, 2020, for ages 14-17. Select the link below. Let's start social change and move towards a better future that recognizes the importance and the power of melanin. #darkisbeautiful #unfairandlovely