I watched a recent episode of Blackish and I was moved by the whole 25 minutes or so of the colorism debate.
Growing up in Nigeria, I came in contact on a daily basis with people who made fun of how dark my skin is. They had jokes and told me how my sisters were prettier.
I was never bothered by any of it and my young mind blocked out every negativity on my dark skin. This is how I was born, why should I be ashamed of the melanin I was gifted? Of course at the time I didn’t see it like that. I just didn’t get why my dark skin was the butt of every joke.
My mum was born dark but she fell into the bleaching wagon so very early and she was never able to get away from it up until her death.
I had a lot of people look at me weird for wanting to remain in my dark skin. I’ve also had people tell me I would never be able to get a tattoo and I guess they’ve never seen 50cent the rapper.
Did I ever get one? Nah. As much as I love the ink, my keloid prone skin won’t let me join that club. Plus that shit is expensive. I’m too much of a cheapskate.
But hey, I digress here.
You would think that the discrimination on darker skin tone is a thing of the past but it’s still going on to this day. Even with a dark skin woman as first Lady of the US of A. It’s like black people give a hall pass to a few dark skin women who become successful.
I actually used to idolize Grace Jones as a kid. I thought she was a demigod and I wanted to be her when I got older. She was fearless, she was strong and she had dark skin just like me and it was magnificent. I still idolize her by the way. She’s a god.
A lot of dark skin women were never seen on TV or magazine covers when I was younger and it never registered in my head that discrimination played a huge role.
I had people ask my mum why I was so dark as a kid, people have called me blacky, some described me as being “black like a this”. Don’t ask.
I find it really strange that black people mock other black people who have darker skin tone and it’s so hypocritical. These people complain about racism and yet the fair skinned black people got the best party favors amongst the black communities.
It’s another reason I never understand why black people in America refer to themselves as POC. I’m a damn black woman, I’m not a person of color. I’m black pure and simple and I’ve said this in an old post. Do not refer to me as a woman of color. I’m simply a black woman.
It’s 2019 and yet the problem of colorism is still so fresh. And the shame of it is that the black community promotes it.
I was lucky enough to not let the jokes get into my head but when a young girl has to hear daily how ugly her skin color is or how someone much lighter is better, that can destroy her confidence. And worse when you hear it from people who are supposed to love you and protect you.
It’s heartbreaking and these people mostly have no idea the effect their words have on the kids they mock.
The school board really needs to advocate for including racial topics into the system. We have been fighting the war of racism for so long and as long we keep sweeping it under the rug or privileged white people living in bubbles keep saying it doesn’t exist, it’s never going to stop.
To find a solution to the problem we ALL need to first agree that there is a problem.
But in the meantime, the black community needs to tackle this colorism thing going on amongst us because if we cannot support us, nobody else will and that’s the fact.
Colorism is real and it’s plaguing the black community at a dangerously high level.