I am sharing an article from the Guardian from their “Shades of Black Series”.
I think it is imperative we talk to young Black girls about racism, colorism and being fetishised.
My Dad was the one who explained to me at age 5 that the world would basically “back hand” me because I was smart, I was weird (yes as a kid I was already a sarcastic ass weirdo…) and I was dark-skinned. The first time I ever seen my Dad cry was during that conversation. And he said he couldn’t protect me but could educate me to what will happen.
Everything in this article I have felt or even went through.
Imagine your own family member telling your mother… “She better have a talent because she is not pretty. That big bulb nose and dark skin, nobody is going to want her.”
Or having your own mother tell you “… No one is going to want you because you are too smart and your personality is real strong. You have to dumb yourself down.”
And then when you date outside your race, you are a “traitor”? To who? Imelda Marcos? The country of Botswana? Who amongst us have I hurt by getting laid by someone with significantly less melanin when 70% of the dudes in the NBA do the same damn thing? Bwwwwwaaaah. F*** out my face with that lopsided, double standard bullshit.
Yeah — dating and just existing as a dark skinned Black American woman is soul crushing sometimes… it’s a whole mind-f***.
… but you gotta carry on. I go where I am adored and celebrated, not where I am tolerated. (Except for the dudes after my divorce – I can say with glaring honestly eeeeeeeeeeewwwww I played myself.) (Throws up a little in my own mouth.)
Now… imagine me having to have that talk in the reverse with my 5yr old kid. Having to explain there are men who look like me or your Dad who fetishize Biracial Black women. There are people who look like me who will give you extended privileges in a situation because internally they hate themselves and your skin tone (not the content of your character) becomes a means of escapism for them. I had to explain how people are going to make assumptions about her level of Blackness and relationship to the Black community based on her epidermis and not her character.
I have had to come at this race thing from all sides and it’s gotdamn exhausting. Damn white supremacy and all these -ism keeping me busy. Truly.
So if there is young Black girl in your life, talk to them about these subjects before middle school, before high school and make sure the dialogue is on going. My family is Black, we never stop talking about race because we don’t have the luxury to not be affected by race. And I think it is a huge act of neglect not to prepare Black girls for the perils of becoming Black women in a society that objectifies, hypersexualizes and vilifies you.
I know this is heavy for a Monday. Life is heavy.