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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ColorStrucked-ness

Peace.

This is 2014 and folks are still color struck. What is that? I’m glad you asked. It’s when people think that the lighter a person is the more positives qualities they have for no other reason than they are light… and … the darker a person is the more negative qualities they have for no other reason than they are dark. And the color soothes a range of injustices as well. If a light person does something… questionably illegal and a dark skinned person has not. When you put these 2 side by side, the dark skinned person still has more negative traits and should not be trusted because of the darkness.

“Serenity why do you feel like that? When the “man” looks at any of us all they see is the N-word.” This is probably true, but I’m not concerned with how the devil conducts his affairs. (8:14) I am more concerned with how we as a group of people treat each other. Even though white people are still the majority in this wilderness, most Black people associate and spend most of their time with other Black people. Most. Not all. (Some of y’all are sticklers about generalizations.) So it would behoove us as a group to stop that stupid foolishness so we can move forward. Do you know how many times I have seen Black folks out of nowhere talk cash money isht around me only to straighten up when a lighter person walks in the room? I have had an old Black person ask for the time and when I gave it to them, they had to check with a light skinned person to confirm. She thanked me and said, "You know how it is." I had a former pastor tell me I wasn't light enough to be looking at a particular man. I needed to stay in my lane and get a man who was appropriate for my station because if we had light skinned children, how would I know how to navigate their lives and if we had dark ones it wouldn't be fair to that man. I have had light skinned men tell me I was too dark to meet their light skinned parents. Now granted I cee this mostly with old Black people. And I’m encouraged to see this trend changing. But it’s changing slowly and I want it to change now.

I freely admit I am on the dark end of the spectrum. And I don’t have a problem with it. I never have. But my mother’s side of the family does. My mother isn’t super yellow, but she is lighter than I am. She went though a lot I her VERY light family with being as dark as she was. My grandmother was a quadroon with the quadroon look. Her 1st husband was reported to be Native American. But they all say that don’t they? My aunt and uncle were light. But she remarried to very Black man and made my dark mother.

My poor mother has so many issues. She resented being the darkest person in a group of light people. (For some reason men can be as dark as midnight and that’s okay… but I’m not sure. I’d love to hear a dark man’s perspective) Also, my mother had more Negroid features than the rest of her family. Where as my grandmother had soft long silky hair passed her shoulders, my mother has soft kinky afro hair that doesn’t grow long. One of my mother’s complaints about her mother is that she refused to make her hair look nice. I counter with she didn’t know how to do your hair. How would she? There was no internet in the 1930’s with hair blogs to follow. Hell the very same complaining woman didn’t know how to do my hair!

My mother, like her mother before her, married a dark man. My Daddy was coal Black. So…. I’m darker than my mother. And that worries her. My brother is lighter than both my mother and myself. So he gets the light (and the man) pass. I say “pass” because my parents strove to be balanced when dealing with us. They didn’t give something to my brother (he’s older) that they wouldn’t give me. But when it came to activities… there were inequalities. I wasn’t allowed to play outdoor activities for fear of me getting dark. I’m already dark! When playing outside, I always had to where a hat… for fear I’d get dark. My grandmother wouldn’t let me go outside on a sunny day when we visited because… yes you got it. She was afraid I’d get dark. And what’s wrong with being dark? My Daddy was dark. Why would I NOT be dark? My father’s family on the other hand let me just run a fool outside when I was with them. They just made sure I was well oiled because ashiness is a sin. Their complaint about me is I’m short. I cannot win!

I have had the experience of girls thinking they were better than me for no other reason but they were lighter than me. Not smarter, not more accomplished, just lighter. I no like that. Insults that get hurled at me are always prefaced with some reference to my complexion. I have been Black this, and burnt that. Even when approached by white men, they come at me because they want exotic or fetish. A white man said to me the darker a woman, the more fetish he expects. But even still I have never felt bad about being dark. It’s not like it’s my fault nor can I change it. All the Ambi in the world won’t make me Beyonce’ light.

I guess we all have a bit of color struck-ness in us. My 7 is REALLY light; not passing but light. He calls himself “High yellow.” But somehow when he says it I don’t detect pride in that statement. I never thought I was color struck until we got together. My preference has always leaned toward dark Black men. But I assumed that was because my father was dark Black. But Precise snuck in my heart and feelings. Since we have been together I have been slapped dead in the face with my own color issues. I realized that I felt that light skinned people have always gotten the gravy of life where as dark skinned folk had to be the bread underneath everything. (Forgive me it’s lunch time) And I have resented them for it. But life in GA hasn’t been easy for him. AND HE’S LIGHT SKINNED!!!!! Light skinned people have to still pay bills on time. They still have to work. Light skinned people still get sick and die. They still have to deal with being Black. I have yet to see… and I am looking…. all the perceived benefits that he’s supposed to get because he’s light.

Yes his hair is softer than mine. But it’s not as carefree as I thought. It tangles. His skin is lighter, but it’s still skin. It actually bruises easier than mine does. And if he has a red bump it shows way more than a bump on me will show. His mom was lighter than him, probably could have passed; but that didn’t stop her from getting sick. At the end of the day we both are just Black people eking out our existence. I wished more people would just accept that and get over this color thing.


Peace

2 comments:

Precise said...

I've been hated on for being light skinned, by dark skinned people. Ain't nobody safe from ridicule in the black community.

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