Tuesday, March 10, 2009


We've all heard of Sexism and Racism but a new "ism" needs to be addressed. Since the 1600's ( the beginning of slavery in this country) there has been an obvious yet rarely discussed divide between light skinned and dark skinned blacks. This uncomfortable subject has been the "elephant in the room" for many black families at family reunions, funerals, church gatherings, and any were else that we congregate. Light skin has always been considered better because it is closer to white peoples complexion. In slavery, only light skinned blacks were allowed to work in the house and serve guests. How dysfunctional is it that these mulatto people were servants to their biological family. They were often products of their slave masters/ fathers insatiable lust for black women which led to rape. Could you imagine how insulting and earth shattering it would be to not only be the bastard child of the family, but to also be the families slave? None the less, Light skin was always considered better and Light skinned and dark skinned people have been divided ever since Willie Lynch stepped foot into the United States. Willie Lynch was a slave owner from the West Indies that insisted the only way to gain full control of African slaves was to divide them. His words have effected generations far beyond his death. Dark skinned people feel that they had it rough because they were told they were ugly. I assert that dark skinned people are not the only people that get made fun of. I know for myself as a light skinned person I had it bad as well. On one hand I was always told that I was handsome and that I had the nicest skin but there is another side to being light skinned that is not so pleasant. I was always ridiculed by other black kids who would say "light bright damn near white" or "you think your better" or "the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice". Honestly I always felt a little jealousy from dark skinned people because they internalized what others said about them. Even in when my mom and I go to Albany Georgia were my family is from, We get stared at and talked about as if we are "sellouts" and not family members. They would say "Look at red comin' over here" in a disgusted tone. I would go so far as to say that I got teased for being light skinned more than I ever heard a dark skinned person being teased. Maybe that's because by the time I was growing up ( in the 90's) it was not sociably acceptable to make negative comments about dark skinned people. It almost seemed as though there was a counter culture that said "Black is beautiful and the darker the better!" I must still sympathize with dark skinned people because as a light skinned person who was told by society that I was smarter, better looking, and classier, I can't begin to understand where they are coming from. It must be awful to be called ugly, ignorant, or ghetto to your face, simply because you are dark skinned. One thing I do know is that we really need to GET OVER IT. Because in the end, the skin tone issue was not ours to begin with. It was something slave owners made up, almost like a litmus test for African American beauty. Black is beautiful no matter what shade. My dark skinned friends often say "light skinned boys are played out". I must assert that no matter what trend is in envouge, I will always be in style! :-)
Ya basta,

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