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Oct 3 Word of the Day. Thoughts and prayers. Frenemy has a family tragedy. Jungle Fever. An inter-racial relationshipnamely between a white that and a black person.
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The hideously ugly little sister of racism. It causes discrimination among people of the same race. Hatred and divide. It is an issue that when spoken up about, the first reaction is annoyance. Which is why I wanted to talk about it with different perspectives. It affects a lot of people, and although it is such an explicit issue, whether in the media, in music videos or in dating, it is barely talked about.
And I wanted to start to figure out why. It needs to be known and spoken about more all around the world, not just in the black community. Colorism is a topic which annoys a lot of people.
It is a sensitive topic and I wanted to break it down as well as I could. Subjects like these are topics that are important, but people seem to ignore because its uncomfortable. I first wanted to look at the definition of colorism. Colourism is a deep routed problem, and like it or not we can see this today in many ethnic minority groups. One show that I really think explained colorism well is black-ish.
Although it in an American television show, it explains the problem in a simple and yet effective way that people across the world can relate to. Because we look different, we get discriminated against differently. In Indian communities, some dark-skinned actors say that they struggle getting roles even in Bollywood movies.
And in the Latin community, products that bleach your skin are becoming increasingly popular. Slave owners divided the black community in half, putting dark slaves on the fields, and fairer slaves in the house, which has created tension and divide up until this day. As a black woman in the UK, a dark-skinned black woman, this issue is very personal to me.
I personally cannot recall any explicit moments where I have been affected by colorism, unless it was tied into racism, which is a whole other topic. Being the only black child in my primary school, and then jumping from that to a primarily black and Asian but still very white area overallit was very difficult for me to navigate who I was as a darker skinned woman.
Many of my brothers and sisters, however, have experienced more explicit examples of colorism. And I first wanted to give a voice to the women, black women specifically. Because we have to address the fact that the black women are the most underappreciated of all, and that we have not been given enough of a voice. It is not only my opinion that matters.
Same playing field, different outcomes
As well as the fact that it would be biased and unreliable to voice my opinion and my opinion only. My girl popped up to my question, and this is what she had to say on it. I understood this opinion loud and clear. As people of colour in general we are surrounded by our own issues and discriminations. For example, fairer skinned women are considered to be more desirable in relationships, in the media. The list is endless. And the rise of love and appreciation of dark-skinned women in music videos, television and on social media is lovely.
While reading an article by the guardian, I stumbled upon an interesting opinion. A lot of black women feel betrayed by black men because of the suffering they have been through, and the fact that a lot of the time, they attack us the most, when they should be on our side. Another friend of mine had something to say on this exact issue.
But its white boys too. And most black boys actually go for dark skins. I feel like boys in general should be mentioned. Because black boys got their struggles too with white boys acting the same but having less struggles. I would say. Say how boys in general being stupid and racist. You can mention black boys going against the beauty in their own kind.
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Although I agree with certain elements of this view, to me it just seemed like it was dismissing the issue at hand. This view presents a dismissal of what dark skin women face, as well as generalizing the problem and not acting like there is light skinned privilege. While on the topic of generalization, my close friend said this. Overall, I think that out of all the statements that I received, this one summed up the issue with the most eloquence.
It demonstrates an opinion which is not closed minded, but still firm and not weak.
Colorism in general is a sticky subject. This is precisely why I wanted to write an article about it. Like it or not, it is an issue that affects a lot of people. And it affects dark-skinned women the most. The fact is that we are not only ridiculed for our features by other races, but by people in our own race. While reading an article from The Guardian, I read a response that was surprising.
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As a teenager, many black girls I pursued told me that they were only attracted to light-skin black boys. For many black men, an attractive golden complexioned woman is a of success and status, as is evident from the skin tone of highly successful black sportsmen and entertainers in the UK and US.
What made it surprising to me was how explicit and to the point it was. What I found most interesting but not shockingwas that most of the boys I asked disagreed with the comment. Preference in general has always been the ugly little cousin of colourism.
It ties into favouritism, and can be highly deceptive. For me, you can have whatever preference and I use that word very lightly you want. But the issue arises when you state that you have your quote unquote preferences, and still go out of your way to bash dark-skinned women unprovoked.
This was also stated by a friend of mine. Overall though, there has been a road blockage somewhere. There is a gap. Black boys say they would want to talk about it, but black women feel as if black men have neglected this conversation. So, there is clearly something wrong here. We cannot act like we stand together against the big sister called racism, when we continually ignore its little sister colorism. Aleida Hammond is an artist, writer and a poet.
Her hobbies include playing the guitar, writing short stories and poetry and art. Currently studying at Loughborough University, she has finished a foundation course and is going on to her first year of studying Fine Art. What got her into art and writing was the encouragement of her primary school teachers. They encouraged her to use channel her imagination and continue to be creative. Other hobbies that she has are exercise, basketball, reading and dance.
At LU Arts we run a student-focused arts programme. The Limit showcases the creativity that exists within the student population, creating a sense of community. Categorised as Student features. Posted On The Limit The Limit showcases the creativity that exists within the student population, creating a sense of community. Creative writing 25 June 5 mins. The Journey of a Lifetime.
Student features 18 June 8 mins. Final-year Creative Arts student vlogs. The Limit The Limit showcases the creativity that exists within the student population, creating a sense of community.