By: Taylor Lamb
When discussing “problems in the black community” many black people like to claim that we are the ones holding ourselves back. They say we as a race have a variety of problems that make it impossible for us to advance. A commonly touted idea is that we are too divisive, always finding hindrances to prevent us from coming together. An example often used to point this out is the light skinned vs. dark skinned debate.
People claim that “it’s stupid, it’s petty, we’re all black and should embrace that”, but this debate is not just a petty way for black people to hate on each other. This is much deeper than that, and has been an issue for centuries. It’s colorism, and it’s not a two way street. I’m a light skinned girl and I benefit from colorism.
Colorism, the preference of lighter skinned people over darker skinned ones, is rampant in the black community. It is a problem for men and women alike, but in this article I’m going to speak on the experiences of women because that is who gets the worst of it. if you’re an avid user of social media I’m sure you’ve seen examples of this first hand.
Often times men are seen making jokes about how they’ll never date a dark skinned woman, comparing her to terrible things, saying they would fight her in the street, etc. The most shocking thing about this is many of the men saying these things are dark skinned themselves and have dark skinned women in their families. Despite this, they manage to use 140 characters to fire the most heinous insults against people they should be supporting
Some light skinned girls are probably reading this and getting annoyed, thinking, “Wait, colorism negatively affects us too!” But no… it doesn’t. Think about the most common light skinned girl joke. People say we have a ton of people texting us and we never text back. The joke is that we’re so desirable that we have a bunch of suitors trying to get at us and we just can’t take the time to respond. This isn’t an insult.
Don’t get me wrong. I watched the Light Girls documentary. I know that some light skinned girls have had problems while growing up like being excluded on the playground by dark skinned girls, among other things. I’m sorry if that happened to you, but colorism is more than playground bullying. Colorism is more than just the hurt feelings, the insults, the mean tweets. Colorism, like racism, is a systemic problem.
So far, I’ve mostly spoken about the way men play a role in colorism, but dark skinned women’s lives, like all women’s lives, don’t revolve around men. Colorism shows its self in other places. For example, dark skinned women with the same work experience as light skinned women are less likely to be hired. Dark skinned women who commit the same crimes as light skinned women serve longer prison sentences. Colorism is institutional. Just like white people do not experience racism, a hurt feeling on a playground isn’t comparable to what dark skinned women suffer through.
Colorism is just a function of racism. It’s racism’s black cousin, and as a black person it should offend you. At the root of it, when people complain about someone being too dark, when they compare dark skin to dirt or to roaches, what are they saying? Blackness is ugly. Blackness is stupid. Blackness is wrong. People say dark skinned people are “too” black, but what’s wrong with being black?
You should be offended by colorism because they are insulting your blackness. They think you’re an “acceptable” level of black but don’t stay in the sun too long girl, or they’re coming for you too. Colorism should offend all black people, and we are the last ones who should be perpetuating it.
Everything I know about colorism I learned from listening to the experiences of dark skinned women and nothing I’ve said here hasn’t been said before by a darkskinned women. But often times when dark skinned women do share their experiences they are often labeled as being bitter, petty, or jealous. So light skinned girls, we need to step up! What can you do? Well for one, delete #TeamLightSkin from your twitter bio.
Don’t make colorist jokes, don’t laugh at them, call someone out if you hear them make one. If you’re getting into a relationship with a black guy who says he’s only into light skinned girls or tears down dark skinned girls when he has the chance, then get out of it. He has his own internalized racism issues he needs to work through.
Most often, black women are the only ones supporting black women. That’s why it’s so important that light skinned girls don’t let their dark skinned sisters get thrown under the bus. Every time you silently let a colorist joke pass you by, you co sign your approval. You agree that blackness is ugly. Blackness isn’t ugly. Black is beautiful. Dark skin is beautiful. We need to help to make sure everyone is recognizing that.
Thank you for this article. I get very upset with black women who are light skinned when they whine about colorism effecting them just as negatively. It’s a silly lie and quite insulting to our dark skinned sisters.
Very true and well said.
As a light skinned black women colorism does negatively affect us. I hate the color of my skin and wish I was darker. I don’t want my kids to be light skinned. People question my blackness EVERY DAY. My bi racial friend has gone to tanning beds to get darker. Sounds like there is self hate on both sides. No side is “better”. We all deal with issues they just manifest themselves differently.
I’m light skinned as well and have dealt with similar issues. However like I said in the article, colorism is systemic. Although it is very upsetting the way people question my blackness (although to be fair, the same happens to dark skinned girls who don’t “act black”), I feel as though that isn’t comparable to getting denied jobs and getting longer prison sentences. I’m very sorry you don’t want your kids to be light skinned, I hope that you’re able to overcome that and learn to love yourself. However, most of the issues we deal with are a function of… Read more »
I agree it is not comparable but the things ALL black women experience can be mentally damaging. Its not a lie or made up. It is real. Institutionally I have privilege and I know that. However when talking about appearance I don’t agree. I don’t think light is better, it’s worse.
I’m a Blackman I love my blackwemen but I also love love that you love your race by have more black babies as well as other blackwemen that’s what I love love love love love love that alot. Thank you.
I feel that this article assumes because light skinned women like myself have privelege we don’t have any problems. Both white and black question us and doubt us and refuse to claim us. Pretty lonely privilege to have.
I think you’re referring specifically to biracial light skinned women. There are many light skinned women who are not biracial and therefore don’t need white people to claim them. Sorry, just wanted to establish that. But also, that was definitely not my intention! I am a light skinned woman and as I said in there, light skinned women have been bullied, which is definitely a problem. But like I said, bullying =\= an institutional prejudice. It’s still wrong but it’s not the same.
I don’t mean biracial and I don’t mean they need to be claimed. I meant light skinned in general you don’t fit in. It’s not easy or privilege
Well as a light skinned woman I disagree but I’m very sorry that’s been your experience! I hope you’re able to find more accepting people in the future.
As a Blackman I love lightskin blackwoman that don’t need whitemen that’s the kind I would marry literally. Plus I want to smell her bootyhole. Just the thought of your comment makes me cum
I love lightskin blackwoman that aren’t biracial at all I need it alot especially if she’s black tribal minded.
The type of lightskin blackwoman I love as a Blackman is the kind that is pro-black and loves my fart fetish and will fart in my face only and is sexually demonic meaning she must dooky on my dick while I butt in her bootyhole and when were alone she must show her inner sexually demonic energy by putting her ass in my face her eyes must roll up in her head as her sexually perverse energy speaks to me. If this is you REPLY.
Thank you for this article, as a dark skinned black girl, this felt nice. Explaining racism to white people is hard but it is WAY more frustrating explaining colorism to light skinned people and sexism against black women to black men I always end up crying or just getting emotional in general. When your own people sound EXACTLY like white people when you explain these oppressions, it hurts because it’s like experiencing anti blackness but TWICE as hard. It’s like damn you can recognize racism but you can’t recognize THIS?! Especially colorism because it’s the LITERAL child of racism, it… Read more »
You’re very welcome. I’m so sorry you have to experience that. I definitely know what you mean when referring to having explain sexism against black women to black men. When I get in conversations like that, and they don’t understand it, it’s always like… damn the people who are supposed to be there for you, the people who are supposed to get it, and they don’t? You have to go through that way more than I do when talking about colorism and I’m really sorry for that. You’re most welcome.
Dark skinned women have so many insecurities that they take out on light skinned girls. Yet they always want to say “I’m not jealous.” Yeah, you ARE jealous of light skinned girls. Dark skinned girls tend to automatically judge us without getting to know us, then they treat us like crap for no good reason! They also cast us out as arrogant even when we’re NOT! The nicer and more educated you are the worse they treat you. If you’re a light skinned “ghetto” girl they have no problem with you. Then they want to turn around and scream “colorism”… Read more »
You are my hero !!!! Signed a lightskin sista !!!!
Maya is my hero !
It is not insulting to dark skinned sisters to say that light skinned women suffer from colourism. We do and we not only receive it from white people but also dark skinned women too. There is a better way to solve this than to hate light skinned women.
It seems kind of contradicting to say that its more than just “hurt feelings” it can be flipped and said about darker women too that they’re just “hurt.” Personally speaking i never saw myself as separate from darker black people i always saw us as one but the darker black people made it very clear that i wasnt black enough for them and that i was a mutt and constantly kept separating us. mentally its very damaging trying to find ways to validate your blackness and people assuming u have to be mixed to be light or have long hair.… Read more »
To the young lady Maya….I apologize if this sounds rude but the way you worded your comments just seems ignorant. You seem defensive and hostile…Which is part of the problem now. Telling a dark woman to learn to love her dark skin and saying that dark women hate light women for no reason is just silly. I doubt if one hates you because your light or mixed. I don’t know you at all but if I had to take a guess I’d say people probably don’t for your demeanor. It’s seems like you think you’re privileged for having lighter skin… Read more »
I don’t think she meant it in a bad way. But this is very true. But In my case I blame the men more. Media has already shown favoritism to lighter women. But some light women are down and sweet. But there are darker sistas who throw hate for the mere fact that we ARE lighter. Now I love all shades. But sometimes this happens. And it normally happens often. It’s just that when I light sista calls this on the carpet… She is now judged and considered arrogant. Check your reasoning for hating your fellow lighter sister. Now if… Read more »
I recently uploaded my latest documentary ‘Being light Skinned’ within Black and Asian Cultures Being Light Skinned features men and women from Black and Asian cultures discussing the misconceptions of being light skin. There is a arguably a general view within Black and Asian cultures that light skin men and women think they are better than dark skinned people and they are more successful as actors, musicians because they appeal to a mainstream audience and they have ‘good hair’. In this documentary it challenges this perception and also enlightens audiences on the challenges they face being light skin, their opinion… Read more »
Studies of dating sites have shown that if a mixed black woman is on a dating site and a one race black woman is on the same dating site, typically rhe mixed race black woman tends to get more nonblack men initiating contact with her, not just more black men. With black men, the difference is not a big one. More nonblack men though send messages to mixed race black women than they do to one race black women. Though this may not be true in every case. You probably have some one race black women who get more men… Read more »
This article is very interesting and hits on some points that some “light skinned” Women and Women have known, but will not confess in public. Being on the brighter side myself, I have witnessed Men in my life comment on my skintone and deep down inside I felt desired and ashamed at the same time. Light Skinned blacks are favored more by society, but, that does not mean that light skinned blacks are not subjected to harsh treatment by white supremacy it just means that penalties “may’ be less severe but by know means are light skinned folks given a… Read more »
Whatever this article is shit if you ask me, I am light skin and I have a kinky hair and a wide nose and I got treated badly just as bad or worse than my black friends. The system is racist and that has nothing to do with colorism — colorism is the mistreatment of a person based on their skin within that community.. not all light skin girls has slick curly hair or pointed noses that give off white features.. I’ve been called ugly while my dark skin friends are called pretty.. how dare you take my pain as… Read more »
How can we continue to “back up” darker skin women when they continue to show jealously, refuse to get to know you, be friends with you one minute then shun you the next!. We all are born into how we are, and I for one am sick and tired of being made to feel hated because I am a skin tone then upsets you!. I have been physically attacked because of jealously, given dirty looks etc etc why cause you hate yourself. Everyone whatever you are love yourself and stop hating on others because you see beauty in them that… Read more »
I’m a Blackman like love lightskin blackwemen alot I love your shape love smelling your ass love you farts in my face I love your bootyjeans I love smelling your farts in your jeans while you strain till you shit I love you I love you I love you I need you fuck what everyone else says.
To Shelly. as as blackman I love the color of your skin I love y’all and I need yall alot.
I’m so sick of this BS. I was stripped and beaten on a weekly basis by a self-hating woman for this light skin. My life was ruined by her. Darker skinned women do abuse us. Most of the abuse starts at home. Stop expecting people like me to pay for what strangers did to you. What I went through is way worse than people calling you ugly. I was never treated with any sort of love by these color struck fools. I was kept in isolation so no one would see the abuse. Then, when I got out into the… Read more »
I thoroughly encourage anyone passionate about this topic to watch this ted talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gUtRIjGeaM
There’s not a Light-skinned Black woman in this country that woukd say Colorism doesn’t negatively affect them because they get constant hell from other women daily. I think many women who write these articles are Dark-skinned women who are promoting empathy for themselves.
Its very sad that a lot of mixed women feel that being accepted by blacks is some kind of prize. Lmfao, you already won. Come to the U.K we are celebrated, ask Megan. Black American women are always complaining and like to appoint themselves moral arbiters of black society. Mixed women are NOT black and we soon assert this en masse and in the mainstream. Funny, here in the U.K the majority of us do not care what nonsense pro blacks spout about us. Personally pretty black women do not even see me as a consideration in any envious way,… Read more »
Its me wolfman I love love love love love lightskin blackwemen a lot I love smelling their asses a lot I love when yall fart till you shit I need you a lot.
… but when y’all mad at us ‘WE are not black’ and if you want us to help y’all ‘ We’re sisters’. Sorry, but i aint work like that.girl.
I did not understand light skin priviledge or abuse until I was apart of classes with only black students. My beautiful darker skin classmates always made light skin jokes and I got mistreated because my classmates made it clear that they felt I would have more opportunities because of my lighter skin. What is horrible , is that colorism was set up so that we would always be odds. I always make it my business, when ever I see a black women despite the hue of her brown, to tell her she is beautiful and to make it very clear,… Read more »
Yes ! And the sooner we see this. The day we will get a window in this box house.
I love love love lightskin blackwemen alot love smelling your bootyhole I love your farts I love nutting in your bootyhole while you shit I love love love love you alot.
I need lightskin blackwemen alot i need your booty alot love a toned big booty lightskin blackwemen that can fart loud and hard till she shits when im smelling her asshole and when im nutting in her asshole. Im blackmen please I need you alot .
I love love love love love love love you alot lightskin blackwemen alot I need you please please please please please please please I need you alot.
To Samantha Harris im a Blackman I love love love love love love love love love lightskin blackwemen alot I need you sooo much please please please please please please please I love a lightskin blackwomans booty alot love a toned lightskin blackwemen that can fart loud and hard till she shits in her jeans when im smelling her asshole I need it alot.
To all lightskin blackwoman I’m a Blackman you matter to me a lot I love love love love the smell of lightskin raw booty in my face I need you to fart and shit while I nutt in your bootyhole literally I need it 20 times a day I need it right now.
You are black I’m a Blackman I need you I love the smeel of your bootyhole literally. I need you
Samantha Harris please as a Blackman i need you im sorry you beaten. please come back
Samantha Harris I’m a Blackman I need y’all a lot I love lightskin blackwemen a lot love the light blackwemen booty videos the way y’all twerk I wanna see more lightskin blackwemen move their booty left to right I love that I love smelling lightskin black booty a lot I love a lightskin black shawty that can fart in my face hard even till she shits I love love love love love love y’all a lot.
To all lightskin blackwemen you are black please please please I need you I need to smell your bootyhole I need you bad please.
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As a blackman I’m looking for a lighskin black women that perfer us Blackmen only and Never dates outside of the black race period. I want her to fart in my face hard till she shits I need to nutt In Her asshole while she struggles to shit.
I need to smell a lighskin blackwomans bootyhole right now.
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Let me make one thing clear when I say Ilike a lighskinned blackwoman I mean lighskin blackwoman that dont date outside of our black race period if she is I don’t want her
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