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Dark Skinned Black Women: Some of Us Perpetuate Colorism Too! And It's Time To Stop

Yes, its true! Some of the colorist many of us advocate against are near and even resemble us in phenotype, specifically complexion.  It is important to not be hypocritical in tolerance against colorism regardless if the perpetrator is a dark skin black woman or girl. They do not get a pass because they have dark skin too. I can recall, being on the train, riding on my way home from work, a young black girl and her young daughter got on a couple stops after and sat across from me.

The mother was on the phone with whom seemed to be a friend, the little girl appeared to be a toddler was sitting in her stroller, preoccupied with something, I don't recall. The little girl's mother, deeply invested in her phone conversation, pauses to say, "stop! (child's name), you doing that dark skin $h!%, again". I cannot recall what the little girl did exactly, and I believe my face displayed the disbelief for her words, because she ended the phone conversation and proceeded to handle her daughter with care.  I was appalled by her words and that she said them with ease to her own daughter.

In addition, although her daughter was dark in complexion so was she; there was an obvious variance in skin tone, the mother being a couple shades lighter. However, anyone looking at them, could clearly see they'd both be categorized with having dark skin. Perhaps, it was  the reason she was comfortable making such a statement . I sat back in silence, contemplating if I should say something, but I felt as if she knew what she said was out of line, because of how quickly she attempted to straighten up her actions and I hoped it was her first and last time making such a statement especially to her own daughter.  Our community isn't as community oriented as it once was and you never know the response you'll get with intervening on how someone chooses to raise their child.

But, we must speak-up, even if it requires some creativity in our approaches when calling out colorism and any other inappropriate behaviors, regardless of whether the perpetrator's appearance is like our own. Something as simple as body language displaying your disagreement with what is being said or done can make colorists aware of their offenses. What if I would have chuckled or encouraged her behavior, she may have been inclined to continue and see no flaw in her sentiments.

 

I don't advocate for dark skin black women to go around being a "colorism power ranger", but there are ways to hold colorist accountable for their behavior without taking a hostile and rambunctious approach. Depending on who the dark skin black woman is in terms of relation, it is likely to influence your approach with holding her accountable.

For example, if the woman doing or saying colorist things is your mother, sibling, granny, etc., you may have a rapport allowing you to be direct, by simply stating they are being colorist and pointing it out without hesitation and then there are the instances where you may encounter or observe a dark skinned black woman being colorist but you could be hesitant because you and that person have a strenuous relationship, the woman could be a stranger, or someone you are a subordinate to in the professional realm. 

Therefore, your strategy has to be logical, poised, and factual. You may want to give a scenario that is parallel using their same logic demonstrated in their colorist actions and statements . For example, you may be engaging in a conversation with some girls you randomly sat by in class while waiting for your professor to arrive, when one of the girls makes a remark about another dark skinned black girl in the class walking by. You definitely want to let her know you don't condone such remarks and emphasize to her what she said isn't different from any discrimination she may have experienced during an encounter with a white/non-black person.  

It is important to be certain about classifying someone as a colorist and having a thorough understanding of what  is considered colorism, so that there isn't an over-saturation in the application of the terms by mislabeling someone/thing colorist/ism. We also cannot allow dark skin black women to be colorist anymore than we can accept this behavior from others; their actions display hypocrisy and undermine our efforts to change the projection of dark skin black women and girls.

 

A' Cylo ( ˈā/ˈsil/ lō) - “I am a writer with a passion for using my voice to speak on the issues many refuse. My hobbies include writing, dancing, and gardening. I'm a fan of all shades of blue; with a slight addiction to popcorn, chips, and salsa. I teach but more importantly I learn; continuously. Did I mention I'm a writer; and I'm serious about my content"?!

 

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