The topic of colorism is slowly gaining popularity, with more and more dark-skinned black women speaking up about their mistreatment in society. Although it’s fantastic that the conversation about colorism is happening more frequently, there are still a lot of problems with the way the topic is handled—particularly in the black community.
As dark-skinned black women suffer the most from colorism, it’s important that our voices begin to be heard more frequently. Therefore, I want to take the opportunity to express what myself and perhaps other dark-skinned black women wish others would understand about colorism:
1. Colorism Exists…We’re Not Making It Up
When black women speak up against colorism, we often have to deal with deflections and gas-lighting. For example, when dark-skinned Afro-Latina singer Amara La Negra spoke up about colorism on the popular radio show, The Breakfast Club, she was met with resistance from the show’s hosts. Charlamagne tha God (one of the show’s hosts) even asked her whether she was sure [colorism] wasn’t all just in her head, and dark-skinned black women everywhere let out a collective sigh of frustration.
There is currently an immense wealth of academic studies which prove the ways that having a darker skin tone can affect the length of your prison sentence, your chances of marriage, your academic achievements, the job opportunities available to you, and many other areas of life. Colorism is a global problem that exists in Asia, Africa, South America and other parts of the world. Skin bleaching is a billion dollar industry. What more needs to be done to prove that what dark-skinned black women are complaining about, is real? I, for one, am tired of explaining the struggles of colorism to the willfully ignorant. If you don’t know, it’s your job (not mine) to educate yourself and learn.