|Posted on June 12, 2015 at 10:55 AM|
Yellow, Red, Black or White... They are precious in his sight. Question? Are we still trying to pass the brown paper bag test in the 21st century. After all, it's 2015 we have made significant strides. Our First lady is a real sister. Lupita Nyong'o, Gabrielle Union, Tasha Smith and countless others have landed roles in Hollywood, but some of us are still enslaved in our mind. Especially within our own culture. Color complex reigns supreme. At a video shoot the sign read, "Only 8, 9's & dimes can apply," heaven forbid if a dark skinned girl shows up at the audition. She does not have a fighting chance before the cameras begin to roll. This type of attitude is deeply embedded in some that "light is right" and "dark skinned people are just ugly." This concept dates back to 1712 when Willie Lynch shared his theory on how to control the slave colony. This concept brainwashed slaves to believe in color hierarchy. It is a legacy of slavery and plantation society that placed white slave-owners at the top of the top of the social ladder, followed by those who were mixed race/lighter skinned and as your color went down the ladder the worse you were. If you were dark you were inferior. Sadly, it's 303 years later and the knowledge he shared on that dreadful day still lives on. (Go read on it, it'll blow your mind) Where is this coming from Charlie?
While standing in line at the bank this week an elderly African-American woman turns to me and said, "You're cute for a dark skinned girl." What? Did this old woman just throw some shade at me? The look of bewilderment on my face probably said what I wanted to say. Grant it, I was beat to the Gawds with my floppy hat, sundress and shades, but still. Did we just just step back on plantation? That's not the first time I've heard that from someone in the generation before mine. I've even been question about the thickness and growth of my real hair. I figured their assumption was I was wearing weave or my hair can't grow that long because of the color of my skin. My question is, what does that mean and why I just couldn't be a pretty girl? Why add "dark skinned." I didn't stick around to ask her but politely smiled with a thank you. I already knew where it was coming from. Willie Lynch's theory indoctrinated an entire race of people to believe that having melanin in your genetic make-up was despicable. Now, we are conditioned to believe that yellow bones are bad and dark skinned women aren't allowed to be attractive. It's called Colorism. Colorism was seen in the mid 21st century with the introduction of the brown paper bag test. Paper bag parties were African-American social events at which only individuals with complexions at least as light as the color of a brown paper bag were admitted. The term also refers to larger issues of class and social stratification within the African-American population. Ok, that's dandy and all but this practice is totally subjective. Honestly, we are the Baskin Robbins of culture. We come in all different shades and flavors. Chocolate, mocha, vanilla bean, and in my son's case French Vanilla Chocolate. That's what I love about the African-American race; the variety of color shades are numerous. I can't decide the color I want to be, however other cultures can. If someone doesn't except you for your skin tone, then that organization or person is not for you. In 2015, I refuse to believe this is still happening but I'm not oblivious to the fact.
Here is the greater question. Have we become culturally oppressed to believe that we are not beautiful as a collective whole? This attitude has descended into this generation. Just like that woman in the bank couldn't believe beauty could come in dark skin this same perspective effects the dating world. Some men will not date or marry a dark skinned woman. If that's his standard that's fine. Rappers rap about yellow and red bones as if they are colors in a crayon box that they can use at their discretion. It's his opinion and a person is entitled to feel the way he wants to. I personally find it very superficial but it that's what that man wants go for it! I've meet some beautiful light skinned women with funky attitudes and blank upstairs. She depends solely on beauty to get her wants she wants, but we all know that beauty fades with time. Real love sees no color especially not skin tones. I tend to think that I'm a strong minded individual but for some women they will change themselves to fit the standard. The Beyoncé look is what is hot right now. In turn, these women will add, enhance, put on or lighten up something they can not change which is DNA. I can not change how a person feels but I don't have to grow accustomed to people's opinion about my skin tone. Either you like it or not. No man or elderly woman cashing her Social Security check will make me doubt the skin I am in. If it's not your preference just move around. I am not worried about being a dime, because I am a dollar. It takes 10 woman to make up the totality of me and what I can offer. I know my worth! but ok... Here is one thing I do know... My melanin is on fleek. Now take that one to the bank and cash it.