Colorism is the Cancer of the Black Community Part 1

This topic had been on my mind for a little bit; I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a post on it or whether I could do a post on such a topic and be right on the money with it; however, my decision came in the form of various signs. The first sign is with the Documentary that is coming out, detailing the issues of colorism in the Black Community (being a dark-skinned Black woman) with personal accounts from dark-skinned women. Here is a preview of the documentary that was posted on a girl’s tumblr page: hatethemorlovethem. The second sign was with whole Beyoncé being lightened up for her new album cover, along with the bleaching of Sammy Sosa. But the most convincing sign was this lady right here. Her video resonated so deeply with me because we had similar experiences and we did similar things to hide ourselves or to not have to deal with the negativity thrown at us, simply for being dark-skinned.

I cannot say that every dark-skinned female has been treated with malice, or called names, nor can I say that every dark-skinned female has felt ashamed of their skin and wanted to be light-skinned, yet for those that have been through these feelings and experiences and having experienced it for myself, I can speak on it.

Another point I want to make is that colorism is not limited to the Black community, it is expressed in many people of color’s culture, yet as a Black person I can mostly focus on the Black Community.

Colorism, a word that I can’t really find in a print dictionary, maybe due to the dictionaries being old, but I would rather define the word myself based on my experiences. Colorism in the cancer of the Black Community, it is the seed of self-hate and years of conditioning, it is rejecting your origin to become something else, it is the virus of viewing and treating one person as inferior because they do not fit what is deemed acceptable. And in this case, it is treating darker-skinned women as less than inferior because of psychological enslavement that helps the oppressed accept what their masters deem as desirable.

In the black community you are to be everything, but black especially if you are a woman. The average attractive Black woman must be light-skinned, with “good hair” and/or long hair and little to none African features. This is the type of Black woman who is put on the pedestal, this is the type of black woman who is as close to white as possible, and this is the type of black woman who white America can tolerate. The saddest thing of all, this is the type of Black woman who other blacks should wish to become, or have on their arms.

Yet, when it comes to dark-skinned black woman, those are the ones that are ugly, those are the ones that have “nappy” hair, those are the ones that white America cannot accept, those are the ones who should have kids outside their race in hopes to not continue their kind, and those are the types that are too black. This is the mindset that plagues a lot of youths in the Black community, this is the sickening, garbage projected to their young minds through the media, in their households, and in their communities.

I can go through the whole backstory of slavery, but I don’t have the patience so I will get to the point. Black in America is looked at as something to evolve from, something to be bred out and subconsciously we teach our young this foolishness. We teach them this mindset when we make dark-skinned jokes, when we treat one kid better than the others because they are light-skinned, when we use bleaching cream products, when we put bleaching cream on them, when we make hurtful remarks toward them about their skin tone, or let them watch TV programs that crowd their head with illusions. All this and so much more is what creates the world of white or light is right and brown or black is wrong.

Colorism at one point was targeted at both dark-skinned males and females, but then all of a sudden, light-skinned guys went out of style and dark-skinned guys came in; wow if some of the dark-skinned guys weren’t jumping for joy then. But how quickly did they turn the very taunts that haunted them on to their dark-skinned women, refusing to date them simple because of how dark they were.

Now and for a while, colorism targets the dark-skinned woman. For many years growing up through all the comments, the taunts, and the fighting I always wondered why and soon I got it. One woman during a video a long time ago made a very powerful statement she stated that you would see the Idris Elba’s, the Tyrese’s, the Taye Digg’s and all those other gorgeous dark-skinned men in Hollywood, but you would never see the women that gave birth to them. Why is that? Why are there not a lot of Kelly Rowland’s, Julie Pace Mitchell’s, and the Lauryn Hill’s and so on?

The answer becomes simple, in order to control something or contain it, you have to attack the source. What better what to keep blacks from continuing their kind than to attack the very person that gives birth to their kind? And that has and will always been the black woman, especially the dark-skinned black woman. Even in slavery they attacked her so why not continue? And by doing so many Blacks, male and female, both dark and light have turned against their mother. They have disrespected the dark-skinned woman when she is their mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, child, aunt, and so on.

The girls in the two videos above made me feel like I was looking at me. I use to blare my headphones loud so I couldn’t hear what people said about me, I was teased for always being the dark-skinned girl, heck other dark-skinned girls avoided me, people who didn’t know me would make negative comments about me or I always got that “pretty for a dark-skinned girl” foolishness. I have seen people bleach and the results of it, (Heck I know at least 3 different colors of bleaching cream boxes, and if I can tap well into my memory bank I can remember how to mix it) I have at times hated being dark-skinned. There were times when I would look down at the floor when I walked, I would do everything in my power not to be picked on, not to be noticed, only to have to go through the whole process of being called out on because I’m dark-skinned.

Many women, many girls, dark-skinned are going through this and many have grown up caring these scars. It hurts and stings more when it’s from your own kind, your own people treating you a certain way because they have been so conditioned. I’m too emotional right now to be coherent enough, so I will try to get it together by part 2.

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4 Comments

  1. The African-American hasn’t been mine; i am judging or criticizing anything here…My late mother was Native American, but I remember vividly we were in a department store, and an African-American approached her, and said something to the effect I guess, that my Mom was also Black. I remember how well, P.O.-ed she was. She had an experience too, of her family being kicked out of a restaurant bc of her racial minority status. I’m not sharing this to defame or hurt my Mother, but as an interesting example of what is being talked about here. Instead of seeing that act of discrimination to her family when she was younger, as a reason to challenge racism, she sadly, maybe unconsciously, co-opted the same set of values, and was angered when she was thought to be maybe even less of a person as being not Cherokee, but of being even what was considered even the ‘lesser’ valuable, African-American racial distinction…color-ism is such an effed-up part of society, and it happens in a lot of cultures too. I am pale, and have had people make fun of me for being too white, i guess you could say. she grew up in…Who knows, maybe she DID have some African-American DNA in her, but that was some sort of shameful thing to her, and even being considered or called out as ‘not white’, bothered her. She grew up in small-town Missouri, in a white world, and i guess she and her family adopted those values too.

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