Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ethnicity Within The Black Community

Light-skinned versus dark-skinned.  This war is centuries-old, beginning back in the days of slavery.  Thought of as resembling their owners because of their shade, the fairer-skinned slaves worked in the house while the darker ones toiled in the fields.  First initiated by Whites, a tradition carried on by Blacks. 

I was born in the time of "two hospitals."  There were only two hospitals which delivered Black babies in Seattle.  Though segregation was not openly practiced, there definitely were color lines wherein Blacks were not allowed to cross.  A quiet separation of Whites and Blacks.  Only a small amount of White doctors took Black patients.  The others simply didn't admit any into their practice.  That was a mere 50 years ago.

Back in the 60s, there was a definite color line:  a division between dark-skinned Blacks versus light-skinned ones.  Our darker brothers and sisters were often color coded:  being treated as though they were less worthy of the benefits fairer-skinned Blacks received.  There were even names associated with being of a darker hue (of which I will not mention here).  And of course, there's the matter of "good" hair versus "bad" hair.  I have two children, both of which state that the same old tune is still playing on the Victrola.  After all this time, it's hard for me to believe this is true. 

What is trying to be "White?"  What is trying to act "Black?"  Do you think if Obama was dark skinned that he would have won the election?  Your thoughts...

Debating With Self...

rainwriter jones


  1. It's so funny...because I know that there are drawbacks to being "fairer". I'm not even THAT light, but in my family there was this resentment. It's annoying as hell...not to mention ignorant. I have 2 friends who pledge their allegiance ONLY to darker skinned men (they're both brown to dark brown) and I get so heated. They claim they've been hurt by a light-skinned guy and that's the reason...but, i am SURE they've been hurt by a dark skinned guy as well...why not just give up men? I love ALL my brethren. I could care less what tone God spat you out in.

    As for Obama...I'd like to believe that yes, he would've won based on the tides of time. That it was time for him to step in...that his platform was strongest. I just don't know. I kinda Had he been a beautiful blue black brother with skin that shined like fine oils...I don't think so.

  2. I have a tendency to agree with you in regards to Mr. Obama, and him not being elected if his skin was dark. The country just ain't ready for that! That would be TOO black for them. (lol)

    My family has all hues within it: me somewhere in the middle. My Father was extremely fair-skinned, my Mother is dark-skinned. I love them both! Maybe that's why I don't have the light-skin vs. dark-skin hang up.

    But saying one is better or worse than the other is ridiculous! I know of some fair-skinned folks who look down on darker skinned people. I know of darker skinned folks who look down on fairer skinned folks. Neither are correct in their assumptions. Both need to get over it!

    Thank you so very much for your comment. :-)


Please let me know what you think!