Do Black People Discriminate Against Dark Skin and Natural Hair?

6 Aug

dark girls, african americans, black women, african american women

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action

I spent time watching a trailer for the film “Dark Girls,” directed by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry.  Oddly enough, the clip was sent to me by a friend of mine who has spent her life being praised for being “light skinned-ed” and having the long, flowing hair of a black Marilyn Monroe.   She eventually married a tall, dark man, leading me to wonder if she feels any guilt for receiving preferential treatment over something that should never have mattered at all.

Like most people reading this article, I grew up hearing jokes about darker-skinned African Americans.  “Nappy” hair was an even greater curse.  The further south you go, the more light skin carries a premium, to the point that it seems to matter more than anything else.  The little light-skinned girl with long hair is (in the worst cases) the family princess, the smartest child in the group, the one who can do no wrong.  Unfortunately, there are some light-skinned girls who hate the pedestal as much as everyone else, and grow up fearful of the resentment they might receive from those who feel that they’re the beneficiaries of preferential treatment – my mother was one of those people.

As the father of three beautiful dark-skinned young women, the “Dark Girls” documentary definitely got my attention.  The last thing I’d want is for any of my kids to feel that they are somehow less attractive because of their complexion.  I am glad to say that not only do they seem clearly unaffected, but I’d argue that there is an entire generation that doesn’t put nearly as much of a premium on light skin as my generation or that of my parents.  At the same time, there is progress to be made as it pertains to educating ourselves and each other on the serious psychological damage caused by even simple remarks about skin color or hair texture.

When it comes to understanding the delicate issue of black women’s hair, we’ve got a long way to go, especially black men. Film maker Janks Morton, while shooting at my house recently, told me the story of a 12-year old girl he saw at a swimming pool.  The little girl sat for hours on the side of the pool, with her feet in the water.  When she was asked why she wouldn’t jump in, she responded that she’d just gotten her hair done and didn’t want to “mess it up.”

We were both intrigued by how this young woman’s ability to enjoy the swimming pool like the other kids had been ripped away because she’d been influenced to maintain a Eurocentric standard of beauty.   I never cease to be amazed at the trouble that many black women go through to maintain their perms:  It’s expensive, time-consuming, stressful and ultimately unhealthy.   I even had a friend with a health condition tell me that she was hesitant to start her exercise program because the sweat would ruin her perm – out of frustration, I then felt compelled to let her know that I’d be glad to pay to get her hair done for her funeral.

With that said, perhaps all of us should take a step back and think carefully about what it means to be beautiful.   While progress is certainly being made against the backward nature of stratifying ourselves based on skin complexion, further adjustment in our thinking might be necessary.  At the very least, we can monitor our own language when referring to those who look different from ourselves – the fact that “massa” might have sneaked into your great great grandmother’s house in the middle of the night doesn’t give you any rights to elitism.  Jokes about dark skin or nappy hair need to go out the window, along with the ignorant thinking that accompanies them.  Additionally, the standards of beauty communicated to our children must be carefully considered to ensure that we don’t lead our daughters to believe that they are nothing if they can’t afford to get their hair done.

Rather than simply focusing on being beautiful women, I’d rather my daughters learn the value of being beautiful people.  But it’s also up to men to learn to appreciate multiple styles of beauty as well.  Black women shouldn’t be killing themselves to impress us or trying to impress each other.

The trailer for “Dark Girls” is below:


Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and author of the book, “Black American Money.”  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 


150 Responses to “Do Black People Discriminate Against Dark Skin and Natural Hair?”

  1. bro. Charles August 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Discriminate? Sho they do! See Tom Burrell’s– Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority. Why do you think that James Brown’s “Say it Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud” song and slogan was so emphatically embraced by Blacks seeking to liberate their minds during this period of the struggle.

    Certainly, as an enlightened (no pun intended) Black man; I love, respect and appreciate my long haired light skinned beautiful sisters, but no more than those tantalizing sisters of a darker hue, with kinky or natural hair. Seems to me, the issue here is not whether the “black Marilyn Monroe” should feel any shame for receiving preferential treatment but the fact that our African American females (along with the males) need to fully understand their cultural roots (pre slavery) then embrace their inner beauty. Confidence states “oh no honey you don’t have to go horsey nor chemical in order to be beautiful.”

    • Tammy Gilbert August 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

      I enjoyed the writings… But, I’m on here from another point of view.. I am a very light skinned young lady, kinky hair, big forehead, big lips and quiet personality. I’m not saying that these ladies have not had some things happen in their lives. What I am saying is that I daily I am treated badly by who? My dark brown sisters. I get the look as if I’m nasty. I go to business and I am talked down on. I have been treated like this from since I can remember even when I was a child. Now, I have to stop here and interject how this has made me feel for soo many years. Lost, not accepted, loner, bitter and down right angry at times. When I was in elementary school 2nd grade, I remember a child saying to me look at the little half white ass princess. I was made the CEO of the “no titty commitee, the “yellow bitch
      commitee”, and any other committe that had anything to do with being slim and light skinned. Both of my parents are black. My mom is a beautiful chocolate brown and my dad is more of a red light skinned person.
      Instead of us finding ways to tear down each other we should think of ways to bring each other into God’s glory. Stop talking about and start prayer for each others weakness and issues. I love me and it took a long time for me to grasp a hold of who I am and what I am hear to do. My job here on earth is to love unconditionally those that love or hate me. Wh

      • Robert August 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

        Good morning Ms Tammy Gilbert. Your letter here really disturbs me, in that black people treat other like that. We have been so psychologically damaged by white imperialism that we cannot believe that we are beautiful just like we are. We have been so miseducated that we do not know of the many accomplishments that we as a people have made to this society. we were much more than slaves and entertainers, we were we are doctors, lawyers, scientists, educators and innovators. We are black we are beautiful we are strong. Love your beautiful light skin, brown skin and black skin.

      • elle August 8, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

        Colorism definitely cuts both ways, doesn’t it? For every light-skin girl who is treated with preference there is a light-skin girl who is treated with extreme prejudice. I count myself as a lucky dark chocolate skin woman who was raised to have a retort against every instance of colorism that was ever spat at me. Black is beautiful truly applies to each one of us who is black from the palest ivory to the darkest mahogany. When one of us is slandered I consider it a slander against us all, and I never hesitate to tell any brother or sister that steps out of line with their racism the same. We are not the enemy. Colorism is the enemy. Black people need to wake up and understand this. Films such as “Dark Girls” are a start in the right direction.

      • Geri August 9, 2011 at 12:15 am #


      • Dr. Brody August 9, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

        I love you sister & I am dark brown, always had friends of varied complexions. We as a people have been so hurt, we have difficulty loving one another, but those of us that get it, should just keep trying to enlighten our brothers and sisters. We need Jesus & I find many of us to be so full of hate and anger. We simply don’t care what we say or who we hurt. I feel it is all due to our own lack of self-esteem. If you do not love yourself you really can’t love others. Mostly, what we do is try to find something negative about others so no fingers are pointed at us. We are safe as long as we can reflect on someone else’s frailties. God bless you sister & I love you.

        Dr. Brody

      • didd August 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

        as a very light skinned man, i too have been treated like that..and still till this day get that “look” from my own brothers even b4 they get to know me. sad but true. dark skin folks take their pain and frustration out on us, even when they know we had nothing to do w their esteem problems

      • victoria holmes October 13, 2014 at 12:49 am #

        okay i’m mixed (black & white & much more) and ive had some of the same experiences youve had. it isnt only people with brown skin that are discriminated against! so to the writer of the article: why would u say “the fact that “massa” might have sneaked into your great great grandmother’s house in the middle of the night doesn’t give you any rights to elitism.”?… what the hell? that was rly rude and offensive. like seriously for all u know all of my ancestors black and white (and other all races that i am, lots of them) came together in a loving union despite their differences. most of the time mixed race people dont even start putting their selves on pedastools so what r u so angry at them for? it is the people that desire what they have who do that… dont put the lovely little girls with fair skin and kinky hair or loosely curly hair down either! dont put one above another as that is incorrect! i didnt ask to be mixed race and i didnt say i was elite or believe any such thing but dont put me down because u feel insecure. everyone is equal if u cant know that for urself ur never gonna figure it out by hearing it from anyone else or saying emptily not truly acknowledging it in ur heart.

      • victoria holmes October 13, 2014 at 12:58 am #

        okay i’m mixed (black & white & much more) and ive had some of the same experiences youve had. it isnt only people with brown skin that are discriminated against! so to the writer of the article: why would u say “the fact that “massa” might have sneaked into your great great grandmother’s house in the middle of the night doesn’t give you any rights to elitism.”?… what the hell? that was rly rude and offensive. like seriously for all u know all of my ancestors black and white (and other all races that i am, lots of them) came together in a loving union despite their differences. most of the time mixed race people dont even start putting their selves on pedastools so what r u so angry at them for? it is the people that desire what they have who do that… dont put the lovely little girls with fair skin and kinky hair or loosely curly hair down either! dont put one above another as that is incorrect! i didnt ask to be mixed race and i didnt say i was elite or believe any such thing but dont put me down because u feel insecure. everyone is equal if u cant know that for urself ur never gonna figure it out by hearing it from anyone else or saying those words emptily and not truly acknowledging it in ur heart.

    • Victoria Rowels August 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm #


      Copyright by Victoria Rowels ©2011

      Young black slaves with beautiful dark skin,
      Violated by white masters again and again.
      They had white women to whom they were publicly wed.
      But they preferred to rape black women in the slave shed.

      A painful history we all want to forget,
      But we can’t because of the children born of it.
      Their hues range from black to white,
      With hair sometimes straight and other times tight.

      Evidence of a crime and justice never received.
      Centuries have passed and yes, we still grieve.
      But we must love the black rainbow that we have become.
      We are the original hue-mans and should unite as one.

      From the middle passage to every denied civil right,
      We make the best of our trying plight.
      But brainwashed to hate our African origin,
      We began to hate our beautiful black skin.

      From European standards of beauty to the paper bag test,
      We have been encouraged to take part in a self-hate fest.
      Now is the time to stop this genocidal game.
      God loves us all and we should do the same.

      A young black girl wanted to be fine.
      She bought hazel contact lens and now she’s blind.
      Some black women put glue in their hair,
      To hold long straight weaves that blow in the air.

      We shouldn’t do destructive things like that.
      We are a beautiful people and that’s a fact.
      Sisters and brothers we must love our natural state.
      We must love the black rainbow and stop all the hate.

      • Robert J.Ray August 8, 2011 at 2:57 am #

        Victoria you have captured to behavior of the Black American race. I have seen these patterns all of my life. I would have really liked to ended my book with your poem. Check out my site

      • shehiplocki August 8, 2011 at 5:30 am #

        …..that is so beautiful, I will try linking this to my facebook…Thank you Ms Rowels, Much love K

      • SUNNY DEE August 9, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

        OMG! I love this poem. So informative, empowering and powerful!
        Thank you for sharing this.

      • chuck davis jr August 15, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

        Very nice try varying aabb sometime

      • 13 January 13, 2012 at 12:39 am #

        slavery didnt end centuries ago it ended 149 years ago about 7 generations and thats not including jim crow but we were in slaved for over 4 hundred years but have only been free for a little over 100 years the wound is a lot fresher than most would like to admit. it will take longer for slave mentality to dissipate. your poem is beautiful by the way. ❤

      • victoria holmes October 13, 2014 at 12:55 am #

        if they were raped by white people then they arent black… they are mixed black people have black skin if ur mixed with something else then u arent black..would u call that same person white? didnt think so. so dont call them black they are not only black and not only white they are something different and something new…. (and it wasnt always rape there were many cases in which people of different races fell in love before after and during slavery)

      • victoria holmes October 13, 2014 at 12:57 am #

        if they were raped by white people then they arent black… they are mixed.
        black people have black skin if ur mixed with something else then u arent black..would u call that same person white? didnt think so. so dont call them black they are not only black and not only white they are something different and something new…. (and it wasnt always rape there were many cases in which people of different races fell in love before after and during slavery)

    • Jerome Thorntone August 9, 2011 at 3:07 am #

      Really listen people we are not black, we are African American or of African decent , lets start by stop saying Discriminate, People can love who they want to love black, or white. Darker colored women are really rare these days if you think about. I think we should embrace our diversity with different shades of color. Basically, our race is the only one that has different shades of color from Dark all the way down color line. So people will choose who they want. The bigger question is keeping our everlasting bloodline strong by marrying and raising great African American or African people who cares if they have a lighter shade!!!!

    • Letty Maxwell August 10, 2011 at 2:52 am #

      The truth, the root, the cause, the hurt, the pain…oh, it doesn’t make sense to dredge up those things but find a cure, a solution and that my friends, means that we must read about our history according to our ancestors. Make it our business to visit a nursing home, the front pews of any black church and ask all the questions you can ask. You’ll walk away feeling very good about who you are and where you came from.

      The truth is: once we understand our history, we can begin to love ourselves and one another.

    • patricia garrett December 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

      Distractions,distractions persons!!! YALL are all off course, Gospel of Malcolm X- you been bamboozled and hoodwinked!! They have studied this RACE and distracting all of u from getting to the promised land!! Enough all ready.. Black man is defeated cause he place 2 much time in his body and not his MIND and they are working on moving the Black woman out of the way cause u are engaging in skin color and HAIR and not spending time invovled in politics, SINS of our fathers, and our minds are under a microscope as we speak!! S.O.S Gospel of the muslims will open your eyes!!!

  2. Meanchick August 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Wow. It’s like reliving moments of my childhood. I’m not dark, nor am I light, but our family tended to ‘favor’ certain children growing up. My mother is light, with freckles and long hair and she favored my little sister because she had the hair. I always felt she loved me less because my sister had the hair and the dimples and I did not. It is still that way now. Of course my sister still has the hair and the dimples, but not much else to bring to the table of life. My mother is one of the people who makes those remarks, which is why I chose to move away from my family when my daughter was born. My daughter is dark-skinned with thick, natural hair and the most beautiful young lady I’ve ever seen. I tell her this every day and when my mother comes to visit, I sit her down beforehand and tell her not to pay attention to what her Nanny says about hair and skin, because she comes from a time when it was more important to look a certain way. I’m constantly monitoring what my mother says in front of my daughter because I will not allow her or anyone else to make my beautiful girl think that she is unworthy of respect or love. My mother hates short hair and makes weekly trips to the beauty shop to keep her hair the longest and straightest it can be, as though it holds magical powers. I try to love her despite her blatant discrimination toward dark-skinned blacks or blacks with short hair. It just doesn’t matter and from what I’ve observed, light skin and long hair doesn’t promise you anything tangible, it just makes some feel as though they are better than others. It’s trivial and it needs to stop.

  3. Beverly August 6, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Yes, there are some people that see having darker skin, you can not get ahead, I am from a family where on my mother side, there were relatives, from the so called white complexion to the darker complexion, and people did see a difference in them from not being excepted in society or just downright rude. My Dad relatives were just your so called american Negro but as the generation grew, there a mixture of colors, from white to dark. I see my complexion as a medium tan/brown but been told I have beautiful skin, my hair is curly and wavy, which I have chose to wear very short now.

    To generalize someone on skin tone, is something that will always exists. My son does not date women of color, where he got that from, I have no idea. I guess since there’s mixture of race in my family, he just following his heart. And I will leave it as that.

    • Robert August 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

      This is a two way street. I am light brown skinned and I work for this huge company and I see that the only people that get promoted there are dark and fat and women. I have the education and the experience to get promoted but I get overlooked at lot. I articulate well but I know that I am not one of those “safe negroes”. I have noticed that dark skinned people are a lot more tommish and love white people more than light skinned or brown skinned people. More dark skinned brothers and sisters date outside their race.

      • LISA August 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm #








      • Robert August 9, 2011 at 2:08 am #

        Lisa I am not bitter, not ever I was merely making a point about the color process and the black social theory. I will not respond back to you because you drew your own idiotic conclusion. I am speaking from my perspective of a pattern of systemic racism and I am pretty sure that the power structure is more comfortable with safe negroes. I am black educated and I am beautiful and fearless, and I am never bitter a black people making progress. I am merely making a point that lots of people are affected by the psychological warfare that puts light skin against dark skin to control the thought process. Willie Lynch is alive and well, you are attacking me and psychoanalyzing my thought process. I reiterate I am never bitter. I was never too light for black people and never too dark for white people. My parents taught us to have a healthy self esteem and I have 11 brothers and sisters and 11+ degrees. I am brilliant

      • Imani November 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

        Wow Robert, you certainly sound as if you carry a heavy load of misconceptions! While I can’t possibly know what your experiences are, I do feel that your lens are most certainly tainted. Stop blaming the “dark skinned” family members for your lack of progress. I might just be YOU that’s the problem! What color survey did you conduct that told you that the darker berries “date outside of their race?” Oh, by the way there is only ONE race, and that’s the human race! Dude, get some help and I’ll keep you in pray.

  4. illeye August 7, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    I prefer long hair……does that make me a bad person?

    • Shellfish789 August 7, 2011 at 11:44 am #

      Unfortunately, it is still true the entertainment business especially. All major money making female is either mixed or near white. Our Black men after making a little money start getting high and mighty will come out in the media to disrespectfully say they do not like Black women….as if they are some type of GOD now!…they not only do not choose dark-skinned girls, but they do not marry Black women AT ALL…only to be taking to the bank by a non-black woman alone with extreme negative media coverage and lost of a hard earned career….

      Black men are the leaders of his community, and they are disrespecting their own women not only in the home and on the street, but in front of EVERYBODY…including the media…and that is wrong…!

      Society tries to make women of color especially dark-skinned women to feel less than any one else, but the reality is they are MORE…because as you look around all the non-black women are paying big bucks to get attributes of a BLACK woman….they are paying major bucks and some are even dying to get fuller lips, butts, our swag, kinky hair and lastly DARK BROWN SKIN….I’ve seen Whites sit on the beach and put this oil on and bake and I’ve seen some of them get DARKER than me….and I wonder “How did you do that?”

      When our men respect us, that’s when everyone will respect us….they have to realize when they were struggling they had a Black woman cheering for them, giving them support only to be dump after he get a little success….and then fall back down when he mess up with “Snow” (non black women)

      • Deveda August 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

        Right On!

      • elle August 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

        This is exactly why I wear my hair naturally and eschew any type of “beauty” enhancement that even smacks of kowtowing to the dominant cultural ideal – which is toothpick thin, white, blond and blue eyed. I don’t want to be that woman, and I never will be that woman. In my mind, every time a black woman gets a perm, a weave, or a colored contact she is reinforcing the idea that European beauty is superior, that it is the standard and that black women of any hue are not as beautiful. Unfortunately these attitudes will persist until there is a major cultural shift of prominent black women having the courage to appear as they are and more women in glamour professions – modeling, acting, etc., with darker skin wearing their natural hair being put forth as representatives of our beauty. Men are impressionable. Men want what other men want by way of women. The status women are the yes, the porn stars, the super models and actresses being pushed in our faces as beautiful in the media 24/7. 99.9 percent of these women are either white, part white or white Latinas. So its no surprise that black men with money, just like any other man with status or money are going for these women. Society reinforces that these are the women to have and black women with their actions reinforce that these are the women to have by trying to emulate those types of women.

      • JC August 12, 2011 at 1:09 am #

        @Shelfish789, I agree with alot of what you said—but,you forget something. BLACK WOMEN need to pick better mates,black men to support,be a help to & love. Dealing with too many men OR one right after another is not healthy for us. And giving of yourself too fast or quick is also not healthy. We can not blame it ALL on the men. AND we need to not only teach our children to love themselves, we need to be an example of that love. Love our children by not bringing harmful elements & men around them. For example, your children does not need to meet every man you date, lead a heathly lifesyle for you child to follow and spend time with you child or children as if you like being around them.

      • michele August 17, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

        Interesting response u left but u missed 1 important thing. When WE as black women learn 2 love & respect ourselves then our men will 2. We, people in general, teach people how 2 treat us. If we don’t c the beauty n us, if we don’t respect ourselves & if we don’t recongize & embrass the beauty we possess, then nobody (including our men) will.

    • patricia garrett December 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

      SINS of our fathers!!! Gospel of Malcolm X, you cannot love AFricans who ensalved their citizens and WHites who purchased you like buying an old picture from a yard sale, which has turned out to be an ANTIQUE that is priceless!! Both nations are slave drivers. I do not care for either Nations111 No longer in bondage.. gospel of Malcolm X..

  5. Nothing But The Truth August 7, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    I am truly, truly amazed that in 2011, when there are so many important issues to be discussed and resolved, we are revisiting this old unimportant issue of Black skin color. If we-Fathers and Mothers-raise our Children to be proud of themselses, it will not matter what the general population thinks because our parents would have already convinced us of our great beauty and handsomeness. These women in the clip all seem to suffer from an affliction known as low self esteem. I see an equal number of so-called light-skinned women who are just as low in self esteem as so-called dark skinned women. It really gets down to the women’s own self concept. We Fathers must stay in the lives of our Daughters and keep them whole, or run the real risk of destroying them by having other people define their beauty based on skin color. It would interest me a lot to know how
    these women relate to their Fathers. We must be proud of who we are and embrace our great skin color whatever its shade!

    • Shellfish789 August 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

      Absolutely…how we waste so much energy on skin tone and not on getting scholarships for our children so they can succeed ……or how they can bring up their GPA….important matters like this should be in focus…not skin tone and other NEGATIVE SUBJECT MATTERS…..

      I find all the time when they have a Black forum…they focus on the negativity of the Black community and then turn the attention to WHAT BLACK WOMEN ARE NOT or even worse we have the worse of all including health and other issues….CAN WE FOCUS on what is RIGHT?

      • shazzj August 7, 2011 at 10:46 pm #


    • Meanchick August 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

      “Unimportant issue of black skin color?” I cannot believe you wrote that! It’s that “unimportant issue” that keeps many blacks out of quality movie roles, away from the camera as news anchors and still not receiving the jobs they deserve and earned simply because of this “unimnportant issue of black skin color.” Most times, when a person makes light of others’ pain and suffering, it is because they did not grow up that way or maybe you’re WHITE, but either way, you’re arrogant about this painful subject and you have the audacity to say the women in the clip just have low self esteem. Where do you think low self esteem comes from? Years of being told they’re ugly, not worthy, less than, etc. This is a very real problem in the black community and if you refuse to see it or address it, you just make it worse. You’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.

      • SajoKumba August 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

        Thank You Beautiful Meanchick. We are not honest people and thanks for injecting honesty into this topic. I said the same thing at Howard University, back then. And yes back then, the discrimination among the various shades of white to black was as thick as it is now. Check this out, we use the word “Dark” rather than “Black”. Europeans in the north call the Europeans of the south “Dark”, so we also use the same word that whites use to differentiate their various degrees of whiteness. Dark in reference to skin color is contrasted to white-snow white. We have been psychologically damaged and we do not want to address this primal problem first but we want to be presidents and what-not. Is it any wonder that our main-stream leaders get no respect from the whites? Let us deal with our inferiority complexes first and then we can take on the world. Nothing is greater than the Blacks in the world. Isn’t this fact not already known to the whites? Isn’t this why they want us down and they are employing ourselves to keep ourselves down for them? There shall be no rising unless this psychological damage is repaired. I find a lot of dis-ingenuity, hypocrisy, down right dishonesty among Black peoples when it comes to Blackness. Our cultures have been destroyed, so all our references are non-Black today. The reference is white or arab or other but certainly not Black. This is what we have to correct first and then think of a new culture, a new society that this new culture will support. This is what we are afraid of facing. The “Man?” is still the “Man?” in our heads because we have failed to address Life and living as a people, One vibrant, dynamic and invigorating culture and One unified society. We are afraid of this kind of agenda because it is not the agenda of the “Man?”. Were it so, we would have been on it since the emancipation proclamation. I feel the pain of these suffering Black people in the marrow of my bones. This pain and cruelty that we dish out to each other has to be address first before we can get ahead. It were time for it to be number one on our priority list as a people, if, indeed, this “people-hood” or “people-ness” is real. I have often wondered whether we are indeed a people. If we are, we are destroying ourselves and we have been at it for centuries. It is only by the Grace of the Gods and the Guiding Ancestors that we are still on Mother Earth, in my opinion. For we have everything that could have destroyed us totally without this Divine Grace. Let us now deserve it.

      • Michele August 9, 2011 at 1:30 am #

        Meanchick and Shellfish789, THANK YOU! For speaking the truth and saying what so many of us “dark skinned” females feel on a daily basis! And to the others who feel that this issue isn’t important, I grew up in a family with light skinned females and males and made to feel that I was worthless, stupid and unimportant. I still have these issues to this very day!!!!! One can only imagine how a child feels when told and treated this way. Yes I may sound angry, I guess I am, so this subject is very sensitive to me and is still painful to me, so please if you cant support your own, just let us keep your opinions to yourself, cuz u cant relate to our pain!!!!!

    • shazzj August 7, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

      i am a chocolate brown sister who loves herself.. i was fortunate enough to be taught that and have a built in self esteem..i am smart, beautiful and happy…golden boys do tend to favor me though…brown skinned brothers wont give me time of day..but that doesn’t bother me…it’s their loss…i love to write about the many colors in our spectrum, each one is beautiful in it’s own right….i wish these sisters the best and hope they can someday put all that mess behind them, love the skin you are in…forget the past and heal…forget the men who don’t want you and go for those who do…love your chocolate self.. 🙂

      • LISA August 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

        It’s amazing what color means in our race…I’m a caramel color and I’m too light for most brown / dark skin brothers and too dark for most light skin brothers. It amazes me when men from other races tell me how beautiful our caramel, mocha, and deep chocolate skin sisters are. I have had brothers tell me I’m pretty to be my color and it must be my eyes….Really? Well thank god my eyes can tell there idiots.

        I love BLACK MEN, I refuse to date out side of my race, but it’s a shame the respect and admiration I have for BLACK MEN is not returned. We will not truly come together as a race until we can get over the color differences that we have with each other.

    • elle August 8, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

      I agree with you, but that’s only part of the equation. Colorism is an important issue because its roots are in slavery and all blacks have suffered stems from our cultural history which began in this country with the institution of slavery. The media carries very strong messages about beauty and what the right skin tone and hair textures are. This is a battle that must be fought not only on the home front, but in the public sphere as well, imho. Every time some ignorant black person comes out and says on the national media that they can’t stand black women, that person should be publicly reprimanded and I have no patience for those hiding behind supposed “preference” when its really racism they are spewing.

      • Murielle September 23, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

        You are touching on the broader problem when you mention slavery and the institution of white supremecy. We were instructed by the powerful race in our society. Colorism comes from them just like many other wrongheaded beliefs about other peoples. Our entire Country seems to be in denial as far as I can tell. We hate ourselves as black people because we were hated and punished or rewarded by the masters based on color within the race. Light color came from their genes, not frome the light-colored person’s will or creation. Not only in Europe; but in this Country white people favor or reject other white people based on skin, eye, and hair color. Do you think that in Africa where people were black even to their lips, and before Europeans invaded, conquered, and brainwashed them that they thought that light skin was desirable or beautiful? No, rather the black and blacker were the beautiful ones. It is that way throughout the world; in most Countries where Europeans have ruled, race and color is a determinant priviledge within society. Maybe there is something more at play; but this is what is obvious.

  6. Aunt Delta Dawn August 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Decided to leave a response before I view the trailer. It a fact that people do discriminate against dark skin people and natural hair. And for some people they are delusional to think that “all” light skin people are pretty/beautiful and contrast “all dark skin people are not ugly. I had my lesson early on as a child and now I am thankful I am enlightened. Growing up partially in the South (racist Georgia to be exact), when my Aunt graduated from college, she moved from North Carolina to Atlanta and was in Corporate America. She went to a Dermatologist to get her skin bleached. She was no longer dark skin, but brown skin and it did increase her chances slightly for being promoted through the ranks. My dad on the other hand was a soldier and could not afford the treatment of skin bleaching, thus spent an inordinate amount of money on so called skin bleaching products, especially Esoterica. I recalled him saying, I want to be light like you and your mother. I was like wow. As a result of my dad and Aunt rejecting their dark skin, I grew up with the false notion that all dark skin people were ugly. It was only when I was in High School that I was enlightened. In between time, I resided internationally so it was never a real focus after that and the few dark people I saw, I just automatically thought they were ugly. When we moved to Virginia, I was in High School and I will never forget this day. I was in JC Penney and I saw this dark skinned young lady and she was absolutely breath takeningly beautiful. It was like I had been shocked into common sense. I was so taken by her beauty, that I told my mom and everyone around me, I saw a beautiful dark skinned person, it was only then, I began to look at dark skinned people differently and mind you, I am brown skin, but Southerners at that time use to call me light skin, guess if I was lighter than them or because I did pass the paper bag test. Now the natural hair is another issue of which I now have and I love natural hair mine and others, NOW. I can’t begin to give yo the countless hair challenges throughout my career from a white/Jewish man who abhorred my braids telling me, he thought black women with braids were trying to make a statement. I said to him, allow me to inform you why we were braids…… Misunderstanding of our hair and skin color can be resolved with simple communication. Ours seem to have been after he got over all his craziness and realized I was just human. We actually had a relatively decent working relationship after that. Won’t speak to the one who ruined me. Different topic for a different day. Now just one more vignette. My husband’s family is light skin. Massa had a great time raping that clan. So my nieces are light skin, except for one, she is dark and is miserable, insecure. I recall one day one of my light nieces, was saying how she was light skin, so I decided to do a test – I said you are not light skin, she immediately became Linda Blair of the Exorcist and was screaming to the top of her lungs, I am light skinned-ded-did Aunt Dawn, over and over again. I recall wanting to say to her, so what the white man will still call you a Nigga. I reframed at that time and waited until about a month ago to let her know, she is in college now at a white University. She graduated from a white private school, but I figure it was time to let her know, it doesn’t matter how light you are, you will be called and considered a Nigga by wicked white people, so do not get it twisted. While the doors may open for you because of your long hair and light skin, it will not keep you there, you have to have a bit more. Interestingly, I never dated dark skinned men, I went out with one and that was the gist of it, but have mercy, there are some Foine, handsome, intelligent blacker than berry sweeter than juice dark skin black men, that in another life would be first on my list and hopefully me on theirs. I love my black people except for the demented Uncle Tom deceiving sell your momma for $50 negroes and of course the ones who sag their freakin pants (light or dark) – but I digress. Light, dark, half black, one drop black, straight hair, permed hair, natural hair, curly or bald et…, we Blacks are still catching hell in the 21st Century and if you don’t believe it, look at our President’s straight gray hair. I have a friend and I love him. told me he married a light skinned girl, because he did not want any dark skin children. Another black guy told me he like them light, bright damn near white and it was a beautiful chocolate sister that broke his heart. I have more light/dark war stories but I guess I will end here and take my natural hair to Church where it is mostly light skinned people, because most of the couples are in interracial marriages. So yes we black people do discriminate against dark skin and natural hair. Oh, one other thing, my nieces are so enamored with being light, that two of them use it for email and twitter names, go figure.

    • Imani November 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      Wow ADD, deep sista! All I can say is hummmm, interesting! Keep workin’ on it.

  7. James Rhodes Rodgers, MSN, RN August 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    I think this type of thinking comes from slavery. Slave owners had to keep control of their products and merchandise by separation, control and genocide and it continues to work; even in 2011. The old saying “divide and conquer”. The only time we as blacks stand together is when we are discriminated by whites. I believe everything that I read. OH, but Black is beautiful and more beautiful on the outside. I wish tha all of us with a cetain degree of intelligence and self-esteem would be beautiful on the inside. So a man thinkest, so he is. We need to get more like the Lord as oppose to like the world. Only God can change our hearts and minds.

    James Charles

  8. Mary S. Northington August 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Unfortunately we are still experiencing the residues of slavery when mulattoes were prized and recognized above the members with features associated with the African. This continues to be reinforced by the media and society in general which emphasize “American” ideas of beauty. Black people are like everyone else. They learn and imitate what they see in their environment. It is up to each of us to undo the discrimination in which many of us participate. Yes, SOME black people do discriminate against dark skin and natural hair, just as SOME black people do a lot of things in detriment to us as a group. It is up to each of us, whenever the opportunity presents, to overcome what Dr. Joy Degruy Leary terms the Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.

  9. Aunt Delta Dawn August 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Wow, I just watched the trailer and my heart hurts. I think I have a better understanding of my dark skin niece’s pain and insecurity now, especially since she resided in a bucolic environment. It is my prayer she will rise. I will definitely recommend this movie to her. I have a dark skin nephew as well in the midst of all my light skin nieces. He shared with me that growing up, he would ask why he could not look like Shemar Moore. He has since overcame his and his full of confidence, in fact he has an overload of confidence now. I am happy for that, I pray for the day that my dark niece will be able to embrace her beauty and rise, what an educational eyeopener.

    • tholiday August 7, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

      This is a sad truth of the Black race. It brought tears to my eyes to watch this. I am light skinned and it doesn’t strike me to look at women with darker complexions in a different manner. It does seem that some darker women have issues with me and were mean to me as a child which caused me to be mean to them. I understand that some of them were treated differently or unfairly because of their complexions but that’s not my fault. I didn’t ask to be born with light-skinned. For the record, I think that all Black women are beautiful but we need to put all this crap aside and learn how to treat each other regardless of our complexion

  10. Robyn August 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    I feel there is to much time focus on this issue. There are so many important things to focus on. The real focus should be on, what’s happening in the world in which we live. Things that will affect our future generation.

    • Pamla August 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

      “Things that will affect our future generation”

      And you don’t think that this important issue wouldn’t affect future light and dark skin children? And further more, this is what happening in the world in which we live!

    • Onxy August 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

      I wish people would realize that in order for the African American community to “move on” we must experience some healing at the root of the issue. The root is that we were forced to not like ourselves. We were told that everything about us was wrong, worthless and less-than. Yes, many individuals have recieved healing around this issue, but our community as a whole is not there. If you dont believe me, look at any black blog (full of negativity, spite and gorgeous black women with weaves down ther butts who are still told that they need to step their game up) or current music video outside of the “neo-soul” genre.

      I am a young black woman born and raised in San Francisco with a deep chocolate complexion. My family is from New Orleans and my dad is creole. My experience with my looks and race have been the reverse of what many dark southerners have experienced. As a child, it was the light skinned black girls that made talked bad about me and were cruel. They didnt understand why my skin was so dark and features so exotic. As a child, the asian women at my moms nail shop would fawn over my face and complexion. Its funny because the thing that most black hate about themselves, other races love. I have never had a perm but I can def relate to paying TOO MUCH money for the “perfect” weave and the feelings of low self esteem and sadness when my hair isnt right.

    • SUNNY DEE August 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

      This is an important issue. You stated our real focus should be on what’s happening in the world in which we live. Things that will affect our future generation. Do you not see that this issue is one of the things that is happening in the world in which we live that is affecting our generation. If it was not important how did it make it to the forum and why are we having this discussion today.

  11. Andrea August 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Here we are again…it’s 2011 and yes, we are still faced with this issue. Unfortunately, when we should be embracing the beauty of our skin and our accomplishments blacks still outrightly discriminate against blacks with darker skin and natural air. The initial response that most hear, when we see a black woman with natural hair is “God, she needs a perm”. If she has dark skin it’s “Maybe she could lighten up just a little bit”. We accept, sexy, dark skinned men as the blackest berry with the sweetest juice, but we disrepect our Phenomenal woman, because her hair does flow or her skin doesn’t glisten. It is truly bothersome that we are not accepting of our own people. It is bothersome that some feel
    the need to go “outside the box” to find a suitable mate. I say, until one is comfortable in
    his own skin can we begin to tackle the ugly and unforseen issue of hair and color. I love all my sisters and brothers and support them if their hair swings or stands still and if their skin glows or is subdued. I love and appreciate my people and they are not to be disrespected…especially by our own.

  12. Shellfish789 August 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I once was engaged to a very light skin young man when I was 18…he thought he was doing me a favor by marrying me…he wanted me to quit college to suppor this career, give up my dreams, have babies, insulting me and my family all at the same time……

    Well, I did not marry him and pursued my dreams…….and after 20 years I ran across him a few months ago…still the same insulting person, thinking he is better than most people…married, but cheating on his wife and possible on the DL…..Rich but still the same person inside….still resentful because I ran out on him and did not go according to HIS plan…

    God was looking out for me at my young age….

    My point is….SOME light skin people actually THINK they are BETTER than Dark Skin people ……I’m not dark skin, but I feel the same insulting issues from whites and Blacks

    Nobody is better than nobody

    • Robert August 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

      I have been reading these articles with great interest and i find it so disheartening that black people have bought into this willie lynch chicanery. I cannot wrap my mind around this idea of black people mistreating each other over something as superficial as a skin color. I asked my wife, who is a dark brown, if this really exists and she said that I was in denial about it because I am light brown. The reason it seems like such an anomoly to me is that I grew up in a house with lots of brothers and sisters some were light some were brown and some were dark, and my parents did not make a difference. My father was a really light skinned man with gray eyes and curly hair, my mother was a dark brown with natural hair. My grandfather was dark, with curly and he was a handsome man, women loved him, my grandmother was light skinned like my father and she embraced a loved us all the same. It really disturbs me that black people are still being tricked and played by the skin game. I have children of my own now some dark some light and I made sure not to let skin color place any more value of one over the other. Black is beautiful people, why do you think so many people want to be black, either through skin color or their idiotic perceptions of acting black. We are the only race of people that get caught up in the light skinned dark skinned crap

      • Tammy Gilbert August 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

        Robert, you said it best.. I was just talking to a friend the other day and was telling him how I had been mistreated by a lady at a business office. He asked me “if I known this lady”? i said no, but when she opened the door and called my name I was so sure she had a smile until I stood up. I have not and do not know this lady, but my spirit knows hate and that is what she was doing when she looked at my color and decided that she didn’t like it. Please, I wish we would not let this man, Willie Lynch continue to destroy us so many years later in our lives. I love my dark skinned brother and sisters the same as I love the one that are as lighted skinned as I am. My momma is a dark brown chocolate lady and my daddy is a light skinned man. The only reason why I was was spoiled was because I was the baby not because Iwas a little lighter than some of my brothers and sisters… We need God… We need to know that He loves no matter the color and try to be more like HIM. thanks again Robert. God bless your soul..

    • elle August 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

      The black upper class, the old money blacks certainly think they are better than dark black people and most black people in general. These are the blacks that built the HBCs like Tuskegee, and are descended from generations of professionals, mostly doctors and lawyers. They summer in Martha’s Vineyard and belong to exclusive sororities and fraternities. They think gospel music is coarse, and they worship at Episcopalian churches. You need a pedigree to be part of this set, and part of that is passing the paper bag test. The lighter the better. In fact, these people have been marrying bright-skinned for generations.

  13. Dr. Tye August 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    Sorry, hate the game not the players. It’s TV for you. The power of TV has been ignored for generations. It is affecting people’s lives all over the world. From Asia and in particular China and India, to even our cradle..Africa.

    The perception it seems will never be erased, unless there is the infrastructurization of Africa that will eventually lead to a dominating televisionizing of Women of African Women.

  14. Aaisha August 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    I’m trying to watch the trailer and i says “unable to play this episode”?????

  15. Pamla August 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Thank you very much Meanchick, for that thoughtful insight! Some people don’t get it or refuse to get it! Either way, there will be a time in everyone’s life when that light bulb finally comes on and stay’s on!

  16. David August 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    There is discrimination in evertyhing in life. If the focus is on what you let other people define as beautiful then you lose out. My baby sister is dark and still sports a mini afro. Why? She learned about her self and came to define herself and to this day is successful without letting others(white people or those who think like white people) decide her beauty. My mother did a very fine job with my five sisters and my sisters seem to have done a fine in raising their daughters and sons. Don’t lay your insecurities on your children, truth is always better than lies.

    • Thelma Rosenfeld August 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

      David, thank you for your response. Yes, your mother did an extraordinary job of raising her children. The trailer was very telling. Very hurtful. Childhood is so important.

    • Robert January 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

      Very well stated. Don’t lay your insecurities on your children

  17. K. Douglas August 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    The one thing I dislike about this article, and all the media that attempts to address the issue of the evaluation of beauty in black culture, is that it does not suggest that we identify a proper standard of evaluating beauty. After suggesting that we “think carefully about what it means to be beautiful,” the author just goes on to describe how we shouldn’t pass negative judgment on Afrocentric features, and we should be careful about “the standards of beauty communicated to our children”. But he never makes any suggestion about what that standard should be, or how we might go about discovering it.

    A proper standard of beauty would acknowledge what we objectively fine valuable in human beings that can be judged through physical appearance. In some ways the most obvious is health, strength, and various forms of physical efficacy (i.e. the kind of arms/hands that can get done whatever it is that you think a person’s arms/hands should be able to get done [which could be different from person to person, since what a drummer needs in their arms/hands is different from what a football player or surgeon needs]).

    To some degree we can also judge a person’s spiritual wellbeing through their physical appearance; like to what degree someone is a happy person. Have you ever notice how much more attractive a person is when they are smiling, or how much more attractive we find people who smile a lot? And though a smile doesn’t let us know for sure that a person is happy, or why a person is happy (i.e. having deep rooted self-esteem based on knowing they can accomplish their dreams, versus someone whose is trying to trick other people and takes some short-term pleasure in their success, versus someone who chooses not to think and so simply ignores most of life’s challenging issues), it does give us some indication. Smiles (and other facial expressions) in conjunction with the values a person expresses (through words and actions) can help us learn a lot about a person’s spiritual wellbeing.

    A person’s physical appearance (from hair maintenance, to nail care, to cleanness of their clothing) can also let us know something about whether or not a person cares about their hygiene/health or manners (i.e. a willingness to meet context specific cultural expectations: work appropriate outfits, vs. funeral appropriate outfits, vs. general cultural notions of decency [will I let my pants sag or not?]).

    A proper standard would acknowledge the unimportance of arbitrary features (like freckles and birth marks), but also acknowledge that individuals are going to have preferences based on their chosen values and interests ( like having a preference for bald heads because it reminds you of someone you admire, or doing your best to avoid people with mustaches because it reminds you of someone you despise).

    It will take effort to determine the nuances of a proper evaluation of beauty, especially considering all of the facets of a person we can judge through their appearance, but the first step is having an objective standard of value, which should be life and happiness. To what degree does a person’s appearance allow us to judge whether or not they will be successful at living a happy healthy life?

    Important note, there are ugly people in the world. Whether they were born that way or suffered an accident. But if we are going to be able to make any determination of beauty, we have to acknowledge that in addition to the potential of being more or less attractive, people can also unattractive.

  18. TruthAndJustice August 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    It’s great that we talk about this, but unless, our institutions, imbed the message, the doll test results will continue to be the same. So often, the preference of men is discussed, without discussing the lessons taught in families by women. Shaping the minds of boys to what is an acceptable woman to bring into the family to ensure, “beautiful” children, and grand children. I have spoken to many men about this, and this is a hidden matriarchal influence, that is not discussed. This is also true in the Latino community and others, and it mainly the women that often teach the children, starting at a young age. Possibly this can be traced back to oppressed women, wanting successful children and grand children, in an oppressed culture that values those closer to them. Either way, the role of women also must be discussed fully in this matter, else, we’re missing out in the healing.

  19. Adrienne August 7, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    Yes. I have said it before and will say it again . . . we are our own worse enemies. I had an aunt who absolutely ruined my grandmother’s and grandfather’s marriage because of the aunt being color-struck. My grandmother had a very fair complexion and my grandfather had a beautiful chocolate complexion and was very, very handsome. My understanding is that they were very much in love. The aunt (grandmother’s sister) was not fair in any sense of the word. She was very jealous of the grandmother’s complexion and felt that it should have been her own so that her life would be easier. Now mind you, the grandmother is my mother’s mom. My mother does not have a fair complexion and neither does my uncle. They both have beautiful brown skin. In steps the jealous aunt (she was by the way and “educated school teacher”). She talked my grandfather down so badly to the grandmother (an “uneducated maid”) until the grandmother felt she had no other choice than to divorce him. I never met my grandfather (the grandmother, aunt and my grandfather are all deceased). To this day, my blood absolutely boils at the fact that the reason I was kept from knowing him is because he was a black man.

    • Carolyn Moon (Amina) August 7, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

      I totally agree with you. Please see my posting and how colorism has had a traumatizing effect on the black diaspora. Jamaica is the focus of the post and the disturbing measures some of the women put themselves through to lighten their skin. One especially disturbing case was a mother who was bleaching her baby.

  20. Skywalker Payne August 7, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    We need to have our media promote beautiful black women and natural hair. Why is it that we seldom see black women with locks in movies, magazines, or music videos? This is what is needed!

  21. D.a.g August 8, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    A woman’s hair is her crown; however, when your crown is not a reflection of your own, it is a false crown! Many other deleterious effects are bound to be effectuated from this false crown!

  22. Mr. Charlie August 8, 2011 at 1:04 am #

    You ain’t lived until you done had you one of them high yellow Spellman women!

  23. TruthAndJustice August 8, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    Yes, this is a old problem, but apparently nobody’s dealing with it in large enough numbers, so academic low achievement, incarceration rates, and self esteem issues are plaguing so many. People that teach school speak of black kids calling each other names, yet the dominant culture has trained their kids to not be so mean.

  24. chantaey August 8, 2011 at 5:46 am #

    Stop pushing using other races to do everything for you and stop laying in the cut, laying low, hiding in the dark. Come to the front- work and represent like a light-skinned person does. Weak dark-skinned brothers trying to hide their issues behind people who don’t mirror their own appearance or especially culture come more likely from dark-skinned mothers and fathers so who bewitched you and them?? Nobody light-skinned asked or needs you to put them on a pedestal- it’s an open insult from hypocrites like we confused or something! Ain’t nobody stupid but you frontin’ on your own pride is killing your own peace! You gets no pity continually playing the victim in the “itis” game ALL DAY. And any black man should know better than trying to study sisters hair and beauty- stay in your own lane and be a man!

  25. Thomasena Martin-Johnson August 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm #


    I believe that the problem comes from the word “black” in the first place. Other groups are identified by a country regardless of what color they are, Italians, Greeks, French, Mexicans. That makes them a NOUN. We are identified by a color, that makes us an adjective, which is the first point that makes us different from other people. With all of the negative images attached to the color black, to add a person only makes them a part of that negativism.

    Some of the prettiest people I know are dark skinned. I have some very good looking people in my family and the dark skinned ones are just as beautiful. That is the reason I did not grow up with that problem. I know that some of the darker people are discriminated against; after all, I grew up in an all black town. But ugly was something that came from the inside. My parents would not let me buy into that idea. My grandmother was light and my grandfather was dark. Whether they were they were pretty or handsome did not cross my mind. I was also an adult before I started to compare my cousins as far as looks were concerned and it was an outsider who brought up the color issue. So I evaluated all of my cousins and found in my own way, that the they were all beautiful with beautiful faces and no matter what they did and to whom, I loved the unconditionally.

    When I got older and I noticed that white people tried to get dark and have kinky hair, I knew then that the myth of beauty and color was just that, a myth. I am old enough to remember when white people permed their hair to make it kinky. At the time, I didn’t know that some of them had naturally kinky hair.

    We are not black were are a people of color; we are brown,all of us. If we weren’t, there would not be various shades. If we embraced all of who we are, then color would be of less importance. By identifying ourselves as Black, we deny the rest of who we are, we deny that were are people, we deny our country and by no means do not have a country. We all came from Africa but how many of us know that there were (black) people native to the Americas? There were people hear 25,000 years before Columbus and some researchers believe that the date goes back to100,000 years BC. Check it out.

  26. Sue August 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Wow….I’m a dark skinned girl and i have never felt that strongly about my dark skin. Never!

    • Carolyn Moon (Amina) August 8, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

      I’m sure that there are quite a few chocolate sisters who can’t relate to this story or the trailer “Dark Girls”. However, for those who do we need some in-house cleansing on this issue as well as with the public. On my site I revisit an article about skin bleaching in Jamaica and how that is becoming a big problem. These women who engage in this practice cite that they are discriminated against as far as hiring practices, social networking and educational opportunities. We’ve got to stop this color coding mess and as Curtis Mayfield indicated in one his songs…that we are one and we’ve got to start acting like it on all levels!

      • Caramel30 August 9, 2011 at 4:11 am #

        Hi Carolyn not only is this prevalent in the Black American communities here and Jamaica but also in black communities across Latin America. In Latin American countries like Columbia, Guyana, Barbardos, Trinidad and Topago, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Costa Rica, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Belize and other countries across South America many of these communities all participate in skin bleaching and the communities and worship light skin or being white as being chosen for greatness. I am half Mexican and I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a racist joke in Spanish about dark skinned people.

  27. TruthAndJustice August 8, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    Let’s be really precise when we talk about the origins of colorism. It pre-dates slavery, since it originates from the theory of white supremacy which is used to oppress, discriminate, and or enslave. See Neely Fuller Jr., Dr. Frances Cress Welsing and Dr Joy Deguy-Leary. How about a bunch of articles that provide solutions in the article. These articles that talk about our problems and pathologies without solutions is old.

    • Carolyn Moon (Amina) August 9, 2011 at 4:53 am #

      I remember reading Dr. Frances Cress Welsing “The Isis Papers” and viewing her lectures. She was fired from Howard University for her “theories on race” and white supremacy. What is so sad to me is that
      some of the solutions she posed hasn’t had any lingering effects.
      When I wrote on this issue–I looked at previous efforts to resolve the issue of colorism, however, it is so entrenched worldwide. Wherever, colonialism, imperialism and white supremacy reigned-issues of color were the consequences long after the freedom movements and countries secured their independence.

      It starts with the family and how we discuss these issues among us and some of the negative comments we make about people of a darker hue in front of our children. What is so amazing to me about this is that many of us in our own families of origin showcase an array of hues from deep chocolate to vanilla. As my grandfather said we are all one and our strength as a people is in recognizing that. I also state on my site that we should “call each other out” when we hear this nonsense. Reading to our children books that reflect the wide spectrum of hues in our communities. Finding toys that reflect who they are. I can remember covers on black publications of black children with blonde Barbies. Nothing against the latter but there should be some black babies and “barbies” on that bed. A balance if you will– that will tell our children that beauty comes in all colors, hair textures and physical traits. The comments have been few on my post for this is an uncomfortable issue for many. The trailer “Dark Girls” is also featured and recently I got a thank you for contributing to the film but the amount secured from the public was dismal.

      One of Dr. Welsing’s solution was that every black family should have a portrait or painting of a dark-skinned woman/man hanging in their home. Hmmmm….She realized how insidious colorism is and maybe the solutions aren’t that grand, yet, teach one–reach one on a consistent basis must continue until a master plan is created to solve the problem in these United States and globally. Until then, we should continue to be the “town criers” on this issue and its subsequent collateral damages!!

    • rara February 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      god is the solution. My beautiful black man said so righteously black people need to be re born. Me a honey chocolate sometimes plum colored woman honors what he said and add that we both know we need jesus for this. John 13:34, ” as I have loved you, you must love one another.” and honestly only black women can eulogize and sympothize with our female ancestors through self love and god’s love. Because white men will never reparate us for the non consentual assult or for the centuries of shackles (sadly brothers still being locked away from families) white women are too twistedly promiscuous (maybe in media only with shows like snapped and kissing all up on weird vampires and not protraying this in real life households)or flirting with brothers that many sisters have real heart felt years with. And brothers (not all but some maybe in media and not in the home) seem too willing not to protect family and friends especially our daughters or ignoring the deep pain of rape of the pasts mimicking the oppressor by preferring light skin or pursuing women of any kind with aggressive lusts having little patience to allow us to heal from the intrusion of slavery on our sanctity or heal from the modern day bombardment of perverted media output that takes all of our attention from one to one connection in relationships so understandably most women turn to god , his compassionate son, doting immaculate mary, and loyal repentent example of grace mary magdeline , and countless biblical believers to heal ourselves with a soul song in sunday’s pew or a silent prayer alone crying for protection from violence cruel intent and bad choices and miseducation. I truly love that overcoming spirit of black women whether quiet or in yr face. Like sheryl underwood said, “i will pull it together.” like oprah said in her very last talk show jesus is the real reason for her success. Like cicely tyson said using sojourner truth’s words, “and how jesus came into this world through god who created him and the woman who bore him. Man where was yr part.” so my question to brothers today isare you going to brush off or assimulate or sell out our cultural connection away or be that strong shoulder and sweet kiss that shares that same grace and tenderness that god blesses you with daily. Say what ya say but joshua says, “as for me and my house we will serve the lord.” and also I adore chocolate children and all other sweet babies let’s stop teaching them hate. God bless.

  28. Jacqueline August 9, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    It a shame that we still think this way. I have friend who would cry if someone called her black when we were young teens. I’ve heard some dark skinned friends say they don’t want no man blacker than them. So this Willie Lynch is still around. by the way these dark skinned friends of mine are very beautiful. In high school some of the black guys would go to other school searching for a “high yellow” to take to the school dances. Light skin doesn’t means beautiful by no means.

  29. Caramel30 August 9, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    I am ashamed to admit it but yes society and the black community have the view that the more European looking someone of color is the more valued in beauty they are. As a biracial child with two biracial brothers I have had many debates regarding natural hair and skin complexion. My middle brother has mentioned that he does not date dark skinned girls unless they have European features. (this pains me) How many times have people mentioned that Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Rhianna are beautiful yet Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia (both who are dark skinned girls) are not even given that compliment.

    I believe that a majority of this racism or rather self degradation as a community has been due to integration. Now before people get upset please hear me out. Each year you are seeing more ethnic groups mingling, dating, creating families and with that integration you create a new level of morals, beliefs, and politics and of course the perception of beauty. As whites/europeans continue to be at the top of the podium in wealth who have control over many ethnic cultural magazines and television networks such as BET and JET perceptions of beauty is primarily caucasian based. A number of now African American beauty magazines, fashion, music videos, musicians and recognized actors and actresses all strive for the European/White American look whether it is by having straight hair, being extra thin, or lightening the skin. These images affect the perception of beauty for our young generation.. I will never forget when I watched Chris Rocks documentary on Black Hair and when he interviewed Asian, Latino, Black, Indian men and women all of them referred to black natural hair as monstrous, as something that is alien.

    My hope is that we as a community will have an inner revolution where we embrace are darkness and not be ashamed of our god given beauty. Only then where this issue dark skin and natural hair will be a thing of the past.

    • Thomasena Martin-Johnson August 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

      How many white people do you know who darken their skin and curl their hair? How many do you know who plump their lips and buy butt and boobs? So What is the ideal beauty is a combination of the girls who have color. Look at the models on the magazines sticking out their butt to give the illusion that they have some.

      You may not know who Bo Dereck is but she was a model and actress whose only claim to fame was being married to John Dereck, a famousdark skined actor and french braiding her blond long hair.Copy copy copy. It made her look like she had a scalp disease.

      Bussing did not cause this problem. It was a problem long before bussing. Try the house slave and the field slave and who was the master’s favorite and who got treated better. In Africa, many years ago, white skin was a curse.They were run out of the villages. That is how they got to europe in the first place.

  30. Isz August 9, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    Black people are not beautiful, they have never been ugly. Black hair is not nappy, it was never meant to be straight. Black people was never slaves, until they let someone set them free. The day when Black people stop allowing other to define their exist in this world, that will be the day when they will be forever beautiful, there hair will be forever gorgeous and they will be forever free.

    • Thomasena Martin-Johnson August 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

      You need to shout that from the tallest mountains!

  31. Brianna Lundy August 9, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    It seems that the extremes of the situation are always mentioned. What about the middle? I’m an 18 year old girl and I’m neither dark skinned nor light skinned, but I have curly hair. I think black people just have a problem with people being different in general because they expect to always encounter a “typical black person”, when in all reality our history makes that impossible. Throughout my life I was teased and tormented because of my hair. I got called ramon noodles, jerry curl, silly straws and any other loopy object that could be turned into an asinine taunt. The girls didn’t like me because I had “good hair” which apparently meant that I thought that I was better than everyone else. Boys didn’t like me because my hair wasn’t permed nor longer than shoulder length. The difference in treatment- by both blacks and whites- was amazing when I flat ironed my hair. All of a sudden I was beautiful and acceptable. Luckily, I grew up with parents, a dark skinned mama and a light skinned daddy, who made sure that I knew I was beautiful no matter what. It saddens me that other black children don’t have that. My heart broke when I saw that little girl in the video. Our race is full of highly intelligent people, yet we can’t get past these trivial issues.

    • Thomasena Martin-Johnson August 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

      What is a typical black person? I met a man in Italy who was very very dark. He had keen features not white features and straight pitch black hair. He was the same color as a woman in my party who would be classified as a typical “Black ” person. They were the same color. I asked him where he was from. He said Bangladash. Now I ask you,What is typical?. Nine tenth of the world is dark skinned. Those who can tan are also of the same base. Only those who cannot tan, do not have enough melanin to make them have color. So I will ask again; what is typical?

  32. eel August 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.. enlighten your less knowledgeable brothers and sisters!.. can you say WILLIE LYNCH?.. can you say MICHELLE ALEXANDER?… wise up!

  33. VStarr August 17, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Well I have a friend that has darker skin and she doesnt like light skin black ppl cuz she said the light skin people in her hood said get off my grass u cant play with us cuz your 2 dark and your hair is 2 short so perhaps some body did something to them to make them not like light skin ppl…Light skin people sometimes turn there noise up at darker skin women~

    • VStarr August 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

      Light skin people shut the Hell Up…How many times do u turn your noise up at a darker skin person thinking you so much better than somebody else???.Now u wanna act like the poor fucking victim. I’m brown skin and I’m drop dead gorgeous they call me Black Barbie and guess what when I’m out with my light skin friends the white women men and little girls come up 2 me telling me how pretty I am and how they can’t stop staring @ me and how I look like a baby doll and they dont even look 2wice at my light skin friends that r pretty. I said that 2 say I was in a store and a white women as telling me how pretty I was and how pretty my eyes were and the light skin girl looked @ me and start throwing her long hair saying dont u wish u had hair like me…Light Skin people please I dont give a Dam about your skin color….Perhaps if u stop acting like u better than somebody cuz your skin is lighter and your hair may be longer u would not get nasty looks…

      • Cheza January 4, 2012 at 9:43 am #

        Clearly you’ve been severely damaged by a light-skinned person to behave in that way. Why feel the need to flaunt about your beauty? If you really thought you were beautiful, you wouldn’t need to brag. Your post screams of insecurity and it’s unfortunate.

        You’re actually doing the same thing as the women who hurt you, making you the same as them. You’re no better.

        I’m light skinned and I haven’t ever looked down at someone because of their skin tone. The notion in itself sounds incredibly stupid and should sound like that to any sane person.

        Surround yourself with more open-minded people and you’ll see that not every light-skinned woman holds the views that you think we do.

      • TruthAndJustice January 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

        There is so much hurt being expressed on this topic skin color that people are missing the point. Let’s talk about how we heal from this, and make sure that we are the last generation just as white’s have attempted to heal from hateful words, actions and behavior. We can do it. I am the medium complexioned child of a family that had a very dark sibling, and a very light sibling. My grandparents on both sides were of different complexions a light grandmother, and a dark one, that were both beautiful and married men of different complexions, so my cousins are different complexions in each family. As the middle complexion, the hurt is for both the dark and the light. Only I can say the dominant culture spares the light less pain, but in our own community, we, especially the middle complexion, in my view, hurt both the light and the dark. I wish we had a place, workshops, and therapy to address this the way racism has been addressed.

  34. Steve A. Rhoden August 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    It is very unfortunate that black people of this day and age is still hung up on the shades of black folks skin. Of course this problem originated throughout the early medieval period of slavery, no doubt about it! Another thing that is so funny, as well as disturbing,
    is that a good majority of people are not reading their Bible thoroughly whether one is a
    christian or not. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that the patriots, (the Israelites)
    in the Bible were “black” and still are “black, along with all of the other shades associated
    with darkness. One can read the Bible along with various Bible concordances in order to
    declare this fact. Most of us, black folk, have had world history, U.S. history along with all
    other types of history during our early school years. Look at the color of those folks skin
    in some of these books. I am talking about Israelistes, Egyptians, Ethiopians, and the rest.
    The black man’s problem did not originally begin with the color of his skin. The real
    problem started when his black medieval ancestors sinned against God Every other
    race of folk migrated to the United States. The black man was removed from his early
    land. I do not stand alone with these facts either. It can be proven through the scriptures
    as well as history books whet



  35. TruthAndJustice August 26, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    Which bible is important. There are ancient African/black bibles without the politics of Europe that most still have not done the study of independent of European doctrine controlled seminary and religious institutions. Black people are only children until the independent scholarship is done. Again, which bible?

  36. PBR October 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Thank you, Elle. Your statements express my sentiments better than I could have done so myself. I agree 100%. And, as Geri said, AMEN!

  37. Sheela November 4, 2011 at 4:52 am #

    This was a very interesting and informative article. My whole view on dark skin, light skin debate is that it is sad that these types of views continue to be displayed in this day and age. We should all love ourselves for who we are, however I really fell that this is impossible with society the way it is today. I am a black woman from the Caribbean, I am not really dark in hue, nor am I light in complexion either. My best friends are real light skinned and as someone who has always heard that she is beautiful and pride myself in my looks, it’s hard to see that when I’m out with these new “light skinned” friends, I am no longer considered beautiful. No matter how pretty I look, my friend because of her complexion gets all the attention, we go out guys buy her drinks and not me, we go dancing, people talk to her and not me. Again I’ve always considered myself beautiful, however whenever I’m with these girls things change. Whether or not we do it consciously or subconsciously, people believe that white or light is better, the ligher yoou are the prettier. Sometimes you see wome that aren’t even that beautiful but because they are light in complexion, men eat out of the palm of their hands.

    • A January 24, 2012 at 12:40 am #

      I am a light skinned woman but definitely brown hued. I have noticed the same when I have been out with my beautiful girlfriends who have dark skin. The men decide to ignore my sisters and come directly to me treating them with total disregard. This is not a compliment to me but more of a direct insult to my sisters. I have also experienced invisibility with lighter skinned women and my white friends -as i am sure most black women have – light or dark. Because of my disgust and extreme sadness around this I never revel in the shallow attention i receive from these situations because (a) even without words I feel the pain of the invisibility that my sisters feel. And (b) the color of my skin is NOT why I want attention! I would hope this article would bring us further together and not apart to revel in what causes others and ultimately ourselves pain.

  38. Sheela November 4, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    I’ve watched smart, talented, courageous black women get overlooked time and time again for a light skinned women who had less talent in her entire body than the dark skin women in just her fingernails. Not trying to diss light skin women either, however it just baffles me at how society thinks. Believe it or not that’s why many black men marry white or light skinned, they want a “pretty baby”. What chances to real black women have when the media tells us that being pretty is looking Halle Berry, Kim K, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce or Rihanna. Never a real representation of what a Black women likes look. Believe it or not all of us are brainwashed. I have a light skinned friend who just had a baby girl, when the baby first came out the baby was so light it can pass for a mixed child. I noticed that people would always coment on her beautiful and precious the daughter was, the moment the girl got darker, people stopped giving comments. Funny how, but just a small look into how we think. If this is being done to this baby girl now, what is she supposed to think when she gets older.

    • Rashida Strober January 7, 2012 at 1:10 am #

      When that child gets older and perhaps darker she may be the subject of ridicule. Example….Today I was with a group of 4th graders and one of the black boys told one of the very dark skinned girls that he would never date her because she is too black and too ugle and that he gots to have him a light skinned girl. The girl said nothing. You could telll by the look on her face that she was very hurt and confused. What’s funny is that the irl was minding her business when out of the blue the boy made this comment.

      • TruthAndJustice January 7, 2012 at 2:28 am #

        These children learn this at home, like little white children used to learn racism, but their parents tell them not to say such things. Black adults need to start teaching their kids love. It’s the black adults that these children learn from.

  39. James Boyd December 27, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    black people do this because the black people has been brainwased by the white man to believe everything that a white man say is right cause the color we call them is white”the color white is purity. the word black is means ” something dark or satanic and that is evil. so us as people has denied are arifican hertiage thats why are arfican people in africa look at us arfican americans in the us as we are different or the confuse becasue african americans are brainwased and wordly and arfican people are treated so bad by there own kind let us all arfican people love each other

  40. Rashida Strober January 7, 2012 at 1:06 am #

    My Name is Rashida Strober and I have been touring since the end of 2010 with a one woman play that I wrote called a Dark Skinned Woman’s Revenge. The play deals with all of the issues of colorism but goes on to ask the question whatt’s a dark skinned woman to do when she is just fed up with being discriminated against?

  41. Robert January 7, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    I just watched the documentary by Bill Duke and I think we as a people should be ashamed of this behavior that borders on lunacy. The brother on there that said a dark skinned woman looks funny next to him, therefore he prefers a light skinned woman with long hair. My question is, how did we learn to hate ourselves so much that skin color predicates how we treat each other. We have bought into the evisceration of black people’s legacy and contributions and become so lost in the American diaspora that we are relegated to name calling and degrading our beautiful darker skinned brothers and sisters. I cannot seem to wrap my mind around this mindless behavior. I have eleven brothers and sisters, some are light skinned some are brown and some are dark, but our parents did not make any difference in us. We all have a healthy dose of self esteem, probably more than white people like, we are in the South, but I love black people. Skin color is the trivial nonsensical behavior that damages the souls of our people. No other race places so much emphasis on skin color like us

    • TruthAndJustice January 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

      You are very lucky that your family did not make a difference. The problem is, there are families that do make a difference, and depending on what was considered the norm, the siblings reflect that behavior in how light and dark skin people are mistreated. I know people think that only dark skin people suffer, but light skinned do also. Black adults are still teaching this, and until the decision is made to be the last generation to teach it, it will continue.

      • Robert January 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

        You are right. Until the decision to break the cycle of teaching this colorism then the saga will continue.

  42. Baiaforever January 14, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    I don’t even think it is the white people who brainwashed black people and did so much damage. Many Africans do the same. I just think that black people hate themselves and it is sad. and that as I black woman I don’t want to have an all black child because I don’t want them to suffer at the hands of black people

  43. Guest January 21, 2012 at 4:41 am #

    Sadly, this asinine thinking that skin color, hair texture, facial features, body type, etc. instead of character, should be used to define someone’s worth still persists in the present day. Studies of the human genome have proven that human beings are almost identical at the genetic level, regardless of physical appearance. No one had any control over their physical appearance and it is wrong to persecute people on how they look. All people are equal no matter how different we may look. In the book of Acts, it says that God “made of one blood all nations of men to dwell upon the face of the earth!” Stop the madness! Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. All humanity is one!

  44. FirstBlackLaddieBrett1953 January 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    I can’t resist a long-haired,DARK-SKINNED black lady with a great body,bottom and legs!!!!

  45. A January 24, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    The reference to ” ‘massa’ sneaking in in the middle of the night” is called rape. And although we as Black people have been obsessed with the immasculation of Black men, we do not supply compassionate dialogue around what most Blak women endured no matter what their skin color. This use of persuasive writing not only offends but adds to a divisive outcome of our history and collective oppression as Black people. As with skin color and privlege, it is what we do with our position that impacts us as a whole positively or negatively.

    Thank you for this forum.

  46. Terrell March 2, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    I know this is an old article but I would just like to add my two cents. I’m 21 and the writer seems to be in the generation above mine. The times have changed and situation has as well. As a light skinned indiviudal myself we are clearly the subject of the jokes and I hate to say it but we are looked down upon within our own Race. All my African American peers are meerly joking and I have not developed a complex or anything, just pointing out that the rolls have finally reversed. Maybe Light skinned will come back in style 😉

    • LISA C March 5, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

      Sometimes I cant understand how we think. Does it really matter if you were tease for being dark or light? We should not as a people talk about our color. I have 2 boys and a girl…..I call them my rainbow babies. They are all over the place with there complexions and they are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!

      • TruthAndJustice March 5, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

        Bravo. What a good parent! Some adults don’t realize this color thing, is just like teaching racism, and many families don’t consciously make sure to teach the children there is no difference in shade, as there is no difference in color. Great teaching!

  47. Big Black Beautiful March 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    I am a dark skinned women, 23, I have a big butt, thick thighs and calves, big breasts and beautiful natural hair. When I was twelve I used to want to bleach my skin and wear a weave. I remember spending countless hours online, looking for the best bleaching products, but now I am happy with my skin! Ever heard of big, black and beautiful? Wonder why there is no white and wonderful? Cuz its not true! Be proud, confident and radiant no matter how light or dark your skin tone is. If you love yourself, other people will love you too!

    • ED_LosAngeles March 5, 2012 at 4:24 am #

      Express your beauty without slamming others. Inner beauty is so important also.

      • Cheza March 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

        I agree 100% with you ED_LosAngeles.

        You can have pride in your looks and accept your beauty, but it shows a certain degree of insecurity when you berate another group just to uplift yourself.

        The cycle needs to stop. Love yourself and realize that others have their own unique beauty as well. Beauty is subjective so there really isn’t a point in trying to make it a competition.

  48. kayla May 7, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Well being a dark skinned girl i know how it is. I know how some of us wan to get lighter and we dont wanna be so “dark” anymore. I am one of those people i got on this website because i thought it would show me how to become a light skinned girl but i was wrong. ON this website it talks about people discriminationg against dark skinned girls. I’ve realized reading some of the comments im perfect the way I am.

    Remember:The blacker the berry the sweeter the taste

    • Cheza May 8, 2012 at 2:32 am #

      Kayla, it’s awesome that you’ve learned to love yourself, however little things like saying “blacker the berry the sweeter the taste” contributes to division. Other black women who may not be dark will feel like they have to somehow one up darker women to feel valued. And that’s how the cycle continues unfortunately.

      What we need to remember is that we as members of the black community come in vast arrays of features and colors and that we are all beautiful.

      Instead of making things a competition of who’s best, we need to learn to LOVE OURSELVES the way we are.

    • TruthAndJustice May 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

      Ha, Ha, Ha. That’s funny.
      I wish everyone finds the love of self. As the brown complexion of a family of light, and dark skin. I can honestly say, that everyone gets some pain. Light skinned people catch hell too. I’m in the middle, so I’m not biased. Believe me, the light and dark both get it. All I can say is families try to pass on self love, and don’t tolerate hate comments in the family, and about complexion. Hate is passed on in families. Also, love the children you have, else don’t have any. Peace & Blessings.

  49. highlightupdate May 31, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Such a great post, keep inspiring people!

    • cella52 September 24, 2012 at 1:15 am #

      It is September 2012. I am 60, female and brown skinned. I could live to be 100 and I don’t expect to see any change in how our folks, especially dark men, treat dark women. Has it changed since spike lees movie? We have all been lied to, and only a few are strong enough to not be affected by it. As enlightened as I know that I am, with my locs, I know that I have some issues.. And it is so much harder for men who are so visual and those who are limited by certain ideals.

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  52. Phil April 24, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    I would chalk up the color problem to country minded plantation type black people which I consider to be idiots. And I am black you can be low income or well off makes no difference. I dislike those type of people , so when some one brings that attitude to me I always leave them feeling like matter what shade someone is if they act like that they are not comfortable being around me.

  53. pawzinthemix July 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    You write truth and the words cut deep. I am a middle ton girl. I am not dark, nor am I light. If anything, because I belonged to neither camp, I was very much alone. Dark skinned girls didn’t think i was dark enough, light skinned girls knew I would never be light enough. For the longest, all I craved was the light skin and the straight hair. I was raised in a very ivory area and while I know my parents only wanted to give me the absolute best, it left some wounds. because i was not light, because my hair was no straight, because I was not what was accepted, I was rejected.

    I grew up and got over it. I learned that the only way to feel good was to stop listening to their hateful songs and listen to my own. It was hard because my family ranges from the “light brights” to the “dark as nights” and everything in between. But the one thing I always held onto was the hair. i kept relaxing my hair for years and then one day I cut if all off so I could go natural. It was my senior year in high school too. You know what was the hardest part? The wrath rained down on me and it didn’t come from the white community, it came from the black community. I didn’t have my long, smooth locks, I had a short soft puff of an afro and they loathed me. The remarks, the sneers, the nasty words that came after me! I had never felt so outcast in my life.

    We want this madness to end? We have to reach into the depths of our own people. The black community needs to stop fighting each other.

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