I have had wonderful discussions on here, twitter, and my personal facebook account that spawned from my blog post on introducing your children to the word “race” and all that it means. What I found was that many were unaware of what colorism is. I found this wonderful definition of it on about.com:
Definition: Colorism is a practice of discrimination by which those with lighter skin are treated more favorably than those with darker skin. In the African-American community, this traditionally played out via the paper bag test. Those lighter than the standard paper lunch bag were allowed entry into fraternities, sororities and other realms of black upper class life, while dark-skinned blacks were excluded. The Spike Lee film “School Daze” is an exploration of colorism.
In June of 2013 I wrote a post about raising a dark skinned child and colorism based off of the documentary Dark Girls. I am reposting it here and if you have any comments I would love to keep the conversation going. It may not effect you directly, but it may affect how you treat others.
Sunday night I sat up until 1am full of emotion, mostly sad. Other words I could use are disgusted, appalled, angry, hurt, and confused. Like many other Black women in America, I watched the documentary by Bill Duke, Dark Girls, on OWN. This documentary expatiated on the prejudice that apparently many dark-skinned women face in the African American community. Actually, it also discussed how women from various nationalities face this very same prejudice amongst their own.
At the end of the documentary a lot of people on “Black twitter” simply shrugged and yawned saying “Well, that was nothing new. I lived that. I needed something more, something deeper”. I thought it was a great first step, opening the door for even more dialogue on the topic of colorism. Also, for this dark girl, it was something new. I knew colorism existed. The extreme to which it existed I did not…
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