Declaring My Skin Tone Within the African American Community: Part 2
By: Ms. K
It is not an issue that is disappearing over night because it has been around for centuries. Colorism has not been a mainstream issue to discuss. Society rather ignores the issue, or pretends that colorism is not relevant because it’s an internal issue. Society have planted the seed of self-hatred by developing structural racism within the black community, but at some point people need to develop self-love and acceptance. The issue exists because people allow it to still flourish by placing self-hatred within themselves and other people.
The topic colorism brings to surface the many underlining discrimination within the black community. It’s not a simple black and white issue that needs to be address it’s the problem with acceptance. My grandmother told me about the “paper bag test” that her grandparents did to distinguish who can come on their property. Growing up I had this illusion in my head that I didn’t want to date dark skin man because my children would come out darker. When I was younger I was lighter, but it was something that I just had this in my head that being light was beautiful. My mother is light skin, and my two younger sisters are light skin. My ex-boyfriend told me that I am the darkest he would date he said “your lucky your caramel a medium brown complexion.” My older sister bleached her skin because she wanted to be light skin instead of being viewed as dark skin. It was not until I watched the documentary “Dark Girls” that I realized the problem with colorism is a deeper issue within the black community. I am a woman of color, I am black but where is my pride. I was a shallow person because I was apart of defining myself with being either light skin or dark skin. While deepening my own roots I wanted to understand colorism.
A person seeing their identity though a looking glass view themselves as either apart of the inner crowd our apart of the outside group looking in. A feeling of being inferior establish from not accepting one self because of your skin tone. The journey for acceptance does not mean people within the black community do not accept themselves. The problem is that people do not love themselves, because of their complexion.
“Dark Girls” defines colorism “prejudice or discrimination based on the relative lightness or darkness of the skin. Generally a phenomenon occurring within one’s own ethnic group” (3:46). The paper bag test was mention in the film stating if you was lighter then the paper bag you passed the test, you were beautiful and if you fail you was ugly.
Loving oneself first will bring change. People should have so much pride within themselves to bring pure essence in the world of acceptance. “Dark Girls” it was stated by saying “black girl rise!” and accepts that you are beautiful because you were made in the image of God. Once acceptance becomes internal no one can destroy your confidence.
Video “Dark Girls”
Share you thoughts:
Why do you believe colorist still exist?