3 Shades of Black
Now, I won’t lie. Some of the ‘Light/Dark skinned be like…’ posts I’ve seen on Instagram leave me in tears with their humorous intents; but does that make acknowledging a negative separation or difference between the two acceptable? Absolutely not. We, as black people, are making a mockery of everything our ancestors have done for us. We’re a disgrace.
We have become so divided and unwilling to make a difference in the world starting with our people first. I believe this internal race war we continue to foster, (don’t forget it all started with house slaves and field slaves) is the reason why our race continues to be held back by our own kind. We choose something as small as the tone of our Black to determine who is prettier, uglier, etc. It is preposterous. I went to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and asked the following questions:
- Are you proud of your skin tone?
- How do you think your skin tone affects the way you’re accepted in society?
- If you could change your skin tone, would you? Why?
- Do you, yourself, have biased views against light, brown, or dark skinned people?
- What are your views on the internal race wars and stereotypes #teamlightskin vs. #teamdarkskin has begun?
Take a minute to read some of the responses I received…
“The light skin versus dark skin is absolutely absurd. History shows that this is another thing created by the white man to tear us apart and it is working. How dare a man (or woman) say a female is any more beautiful because she is of a lighter complexion. To any other race she is still black (or African American to be politically correct). It shows the ignorance black America still has and it’s a disgrace. A lighter skin slave may have been looked at as more privileged because she was able to be a house slave but we ignore the key word.. She is still a slave. Once we as a people truly understand that message, then hopefully this whole light skin versus dark skin thing will end.”
“Yes I am very proud of my skin tone! I’m chocolate and love it. I feel people in general make it seem as though dark skin isn’t beautiful and that light skin is preferable; however, I haven’t come across any negativity or discrimination. I actually get compliments daily about my skin tone. [When asked if she would change her skin tone] I WOULD NEVER! [on biased views] I don’t have biased views.. Black is Black and Black is beautiful. [On internal race wars] I hate that! It’s like trying to create two races within a race. It’s annoying! You have people trying to date or marry light/white men to get light skinned babies.”
“I love my skin tone! I think my skin tone affects me in only one way.. I’m black, in a white mans world… no matter my shade I’m still black. If I could change my skin tone… No, I love my caramel mix! [on biased views] No bias, Black is Black. Beautiful is beautiful. Ugly is ugly. We need to stop this #teamlightskin vs. #teamdarkskin; there are bigger issues among the black community and WE are our biggest set back!”
“I looove my skin tone. Honestly, the only way my skin tone affects me is because of the dark skin vs. light skin wars. People are made to believe that the darker your skin tone the uglier, but i don’t pay attention to that mess so I guess it doesn’t affect me in any way. No, I wouldn’t change my skin tone. I have good skin and I love all brown skin because I live for beautiful skin, but I definitely love the darker tones. [On biased views] No, people are people. Having biased views toward different skin tones would make me just like racist people who think they’re better than Blacks because they have lighter skin. It’s honestly a slave mentality, if you ask me.”
“[On being proud of her skin tone] Sometimes; only because I don’t think its an even tone. I think [my skin tone] does… I’m not dark skinned nor light skinned so I think I’ve been neutral, but when I’m with friends you always hear “Oh, she’s cute to be dark skinned.” No I wouldn’t change my skin tone. I’m the tone my mother and father created which makes my skin unique. Sun-kissed skin is the best. [On biased views] Sometimes. I can’t even lie… I feel like light skinned girls walk around with their noses up in the air, but thats only from personal experience. I’ve only got one ‘red’ friend who is down to earth. [On internal race wars] It’s premeditated for us all in the media to be lighter. It’s all you hear about in music.. “red bone this… yellow bone that.” We publicize that lighter is better. So now we have competition within our own race, which is stupid. We all fill out Black for race–unless you’re one of those people who has to recognize every ancestry that isn’t Black to make yourself look more exotic. We’ve forgotten that WE ARE EXOTIC and there’s no other race that’s similar to us. Done.”
“I’ve heard from time to time, “You’re pretty for a dark skinned girl!” which implies that I’m supposed to be ugly. I would not change my skin color for anything. I don’t have prejudices against skin color; I have prejudices with attitudes. However, I acknowledge that light skin is more sought after than dark skin. There is an interracial war–has been since the beginning and will continue on throughout humanity. That’s just life, but I don’t take part in it. I try to live above ignorance!”
These woman made some excellent points in their answers. Not only are we allowing the ignorance to manifest within our race; we’re showing other races just how little we respect ourselves! How dare we get mad at another race for discrimination, looking down on us, judging us–whatever–when we’re the ones demonstrating the ways to do it! I, for one, do believe that we believe our skin tone should determine our looks and actions. Just like anything else you keep hearing, a large part of our generation has clung on to these stereotypes. For example, nowadays I see so many beautiful dark women allowing people’s criticisms and judgments to force them to add a ‘lightening’ filter to almost every picture they post so that they seem lighter than they really are. You see things on Instagram like “Every man needs a light skinned woman” to insulting posts about the quality of a dark skinned girl’s hair in comparison to a light skinned girl’s hair. Let me be the first to say I know plenty of light girls who’s hair is not of the greatest quality and plenty of dark skinned girl’s hair that is. It’s a myth. Our genetics determine what we will be like; not the color of our skin. I wish I would have thought to ask “What tone do you identify with?” because some of the women who answered put themselves in a different category than I had assumed they’d answer from.
I’ll leave you with my answers to those questions:
“I am very proud of my Black. It’s rich, it’s smooth, it’s MINE; what’s not to love about that? I definitely think my skin tone affects my acceptance in society. When I first decided on dying my hair blonde, I got SO much negative feedback on how ‘ghetto’ it would look next to my dark skin. I’ve also had to argue numereous people down about having dark skin, but being mixed. My ethnicity is Costa Rican, Jamaican, and Black; how dare someone deny me my heritage because my skin isn’t light. On top of that, I get questions of what ethnicity I am because my skin is dark, but smooth.. which to me implies that if I was only Black my skin would be bumpy. Now, I would never change my skin tone, but growing up in a place where ‘White was right’ of course I wanted to be lighter when I was younger. I was bullied for a long time about the make up of my complexion. Yes, I do have a tendency of thinking that light skinned people act differently than dark skinned people. I hate that I do, but it is truly from personal experience. I know many women who think just because their skin is light, they’re God’s gift to Earth. I also know many people tell me on a regular how gorgeous I am for a dark skinned woman. I think light skinned guys are more of a player than dark skinned guys, but that’s just because of the persona I perceive from most of them. If we could be smart enough to realize that regardless of how light or dark we are of Mother Africa. The most beautiful in all the land. We should embrace ALL of our people. If you find yourself guilty of trusting in a stereotype, don’t be discouraged; CHANGE YOUR WAYS. We MUST be the change. If we keep treating one another this way, sooner or later other races will (more blatantly) do exactly the same.”
I’d love to hear your answers to those questions. Please share with me and comment your responses/reactions below!
Peace and love, dear reader.