First thing first before I go any further, Happy Black History Month to all my brotha’s and sista’s out there. I don’t get why we only get a month to be appreciated by society; but HEY that’s another conversation for another day. Although every single day is Black history month (because everyday we’re always doing something great .. duh), this is the month we get to obnoxiously glorify all the wonderful achievements our beautiful culture has achieved throughout the years.
I love my culture, I really do but I hate that colorism has been breaking the unity our community should have. Colorism is such an unspoken issue which occurs everyday, and its seriously underrated. And to be honest, if you’re not a dark-skinned person then you probably don’t see the seriousness it. Colorism is everywhere, it does not only affect the Black community though, it affects all races throughout the world. Surprisingly, it even affects animals and domestic pets.
If you dont know what colorism is, than let me explain it to you. Colorism is when society chooses to treat or discriminate an individual based on their skin color. Now, I know you’re probably thinking “ok, but this sounds like racism” but it’s not! Racism is when discrimination is directed towards an individual against someone of a different race based off personal beliefs. So, do you see how they’re different now? Colorism happens within it’s own culture and it is more harming than people realize.
Recently, I read an article by The Washington Post stating that Mathew Knowles– Beyoncé and Solange’s father– admits he has been affected by conditioned colorism. As a child, Knowles’s mother often aggressively stated “don’t ever bring no nappy head black girl to my house“, which meant to him, don’t ever bring home a dark-skin female. He expresses that growing up in the south during the late 50s, the shade of your skin color identified your importance in society. So in result, he never brought any woman who’s skin tone was darker than his. He mostly dated white women, or very light-skin black women who could pass as white. He expresses, that’s the reason why he married his ex-wife Tina Knowles (Tina Lawson) and was even shocked to find out she was a black woman while they were dating. To be honest, I was not shocked with Mathew Knowles article because many Black people tend associate unattractiveness with dark-skin individuals. Why? I dont know, I’ll never understand it because in my opinion everyone is attractive in their own way regardless a persons skin tone. Yet, we’re entitled to our own opinion.
Colorism is everywhere though, especially in the media but it’s so overlooked. Within the media, there is there always some form of misrepresentation and defamation of dark-skin people. They’re often characterized as ugly, broke, ghetto, and etc. It has happened numerous of times in television series, even the shows where the majority of the cast is black or people of color. I even personally experienced colorism before, and it was from my own doctor. The doctor was trying to understand how could my Grandfather — which was a very light-skin man, often mistaken as Hispanic– have two dark-skin children and grandchild. My grandfather was so offended, and replied “my wife was dark, dont you know black people come in all colors?”. Though I was only an teenager, I was also offended because why would he even ask us that? Why does it matter? Just because he’s lighter than us, that means he may possibly not have much relation with his own family?
Therefore, stop pre-judging someone for their skin-tone and categorizing them as someone they may not be. Learn to accept people for they are. Black people come in all different colors, thanks to melanin. Yet, the color of your skin does not define your importance, intellect, beauty or who you are. It’s just a color, we’re all people at the end of the day.