Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.
The thing I was picked on about more than any other thing is how Light Skinned I am for a Black person. It has always been upsetting to me to be the punchline of jokes for my coloring by other Black people.
- “Light bright and damn near White”
- “You’re more like a tanned White Girl than Black”
- “You’re the Whitest Black person that I know”
And I get it from White people, too.
- “With a tan, I’m darker than you”
- “But what else are you mixed with? You can’t be all Black”
- “I didn’t realize you how Black were until you started talking”
None of this is funny or flattering to me … except maybe the last one.
Team Dark Skin is not the only being mistreated and damaged by the effects of negative comments about their melanin levels. Many Light Skin people, especially those who are bi-racial, feel torn about where they fit in among the races and resent having to choose one over the other(s).
I am not one of those people. I’m very clear about where I fit. My choice was made long ago.
I absolutely respect the other aspects of my heritage. I know what they are and how they were introduced into through my ancestors. It is an honor to have this knowledge. But it doesn’t change my choice or my views.
It is deeply offensive to me to be pushed toward being, choosing and living something that isn’t my truth just because it makes others more comfortable. I’ve often wondered why this persists as a topic for debate and discussion about Light Skin people like me.
In 2015, when the Rachel Dolezal scandal became national news, it made real sense to me for the first time.
No one can understand CHOOSING to be Black when your appearance and/or opportunity affords you the option to be anything else.
Whiteness as the standard runs so deep, wide and high that choosing anything other than as an identity is unfathomable.
This is how I know systemic racism is real. This is how I know we all have prejudice. This is how I know Colorism is as real and pervasive a thing just as damaging as any other -Ism out there.
I recognize my personal choice doesn’t change the fact of Colorism. I recognize my choice doesn’t change the perceived and at times real Privilege my reduced melanin levels afford me. And I still rep hard every day for Team Light Skin.
Tune in tomorrow for Day 11 – Black Face