The social and personal battles between lighter skinned African-Americans and darker skinned African-Americans has been raging for years. It doesn’t seem that this dangerous fire will dwindle anytime soon. Due to the unfortunate circumstances that we continue to live with, saddled by the never-changing burden of slave years, will blacks ever get a break? And really, whose fault is it, not that it emerged, but that it continues?
As I vent from a darker skinned African-American’s prospective, forgive (or applaud) me for being candid; for this issue is something that we deal with perpetually, whether some realize it or not. It is appalling that in 2009; society so heavily influences blacks of various hues to compete for beauty, jobs, relationships, education, and more complexion issues I as a teen have yet to encounter.
Quick history break: Though it is revolting, before 1865 and for a while after in the south, fair skinned women and girls received the “esteemed privilege” of waiting on their white masters inside the homes. Pure joy. Conversely, darker skinned women and children were put to work in the fields- from before sunrise until after sunset. Thus, the closer you were to looking white, the better.
Images of Roots tend to replay in my mind, as I envision the struggle of my darker skinned ancestors and the unjustifiable weight of the two dualities they were forced to bear in an unfortunate comparison to my lighter brothas and sistas. However, I will not fail to mention the struggle of the lighter skinned slaves who were cast into the two dualities of not only being black but fair skinned as well- not accepted by aggrieved dark skinned blacks, then in-turn being punished by whites for simply being black.
The issue of colorism affects everyone… even the president of the United States. On Obama’s journey to the White House, he endured what colorism encompasses at a magnitude that profoundly upsets me. How could our own people question his “blackness,” and how do we expect to conquer this setback? Or do we?
My acceptance as a beautiful brown skinned African-American young lady has been stifled on several occasions in respect to relationships with A-A guys as they have said, “I only like light-skinned girls… Light-skinned girls look better to me… You pretty for a dark-skinned girl.” These ignorant remarks bombard my mental and emotional self-confidence, regularly.
When I enter into college, whether it is majority black or white, will my education and social life suffer, failing in comparison to that of my lighter skinned sistas like it happened “back in the day?” Or if this suffering of colorism does come to be, will present days be reflected?
Everlasting it seems to be,
The closer to white you are,
The better off you’ll have it,