50 SHADES OF BLACK

I find it utterly ridiculous that we are still discussing skin color or colorism as a lived and loved practice. It is sad that we (Black folks of the diaspora) reduce one another down to pigmentation and then deem some of us deserving while those on the unfortunate side of the color spectrum suffer mercilessly. If you’re dark skinned then the opposite may be the unfortunate skin tone subject to ridicule. The double edge sword leaves ALL hands bloody. We judge and qualify skin tones like one would paint at Home Depot! Brilliant and varied hues of Blackness picked apart for sport and ideological practice. Perhaps the cruelest form of torture that colorism in the Black community produces is the fact that we strip each other of the joys of achieving goals or receiving blessings, or the lack thereof, because of skin tone. This is beyond disheartening.

This kind of psychological violence demands that its victims contend with the fact that they’ve gained favor because of their skin color or never was given favor, to begin with, due to their skin color. On either side of the Black folk color spectrum, one falls under there is a different, yet identical in scope, psychological factors to contend with. On either side of the spectrum, Black folks are stripped of their humanity and are forced to wrestle with the fact that people may not like you based on your skin tone or they may adore you based on your skin tone. In either scenario there leaves little room left for the actual individual.

The moment we as Black folks start to hedge our bets on the chances of certain Black people “making it” solely because on their skin color while other Black folks are subjugated to never being the “wanted” party is deeply troubling. It’s come to the point where if someone who is extremely talented like BeyoncĂ© is viewed by some folks as having a “light skin” advantage as if she hasn’t worked hard to get where she is. Let’s not even get into the whole dark skin equals “hard” “gangsta” while light skin equals “emotional” or “soft.” This is problematic on many levels, but the tragic part is that these negative tropes have been promoted by white supremacists in America for centuries and the descendants of these Black folks are now the main progenitors of these deadly stereotypes.

This foolishness is getting out of hand! The African diaspora has too many divisive elements embedded in its fabric that need to be addressed and then done away with. The most annoying is the divisive colorism, which is an outcropping from the distancing of oneself (if you would generally be considered “Black”) from the ideas of Blackness and what that means. It is clear to see that if some Black folks can’t even fully and healthily unpack what it means to be Black, you can see the logical extension to favor being denied or shown to certain Black folks based off skin tone.

THIS SHIT HAS TO STOP!!!

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