Colorism Quotes

Why compile a list of colorism quotes? The official answer is that a collection of quotations helps fulfill the CH mission to raise awareness and provide a hub of information and resources about colorism. Other equally valid and true reasons: People like quotes! Because sometimes I just don’t know what to write. Sometimes I get tired of my own voice and just want to soak up what others have said. Sometimes I feel like people aren’t hearing me, but they might be able to hear someone else. Full disclosure: This is by no means a comprehensive survey. I selected quotations that I tend to agree with and that are by people (much) more famous than me.… Read More

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2014 Colorism Poetry Contest Results

Thank you to everyone who submitted poetry or encouraged someone else to submit. We received over 300 incredible poems. Thank you to the judges Opal Palmer-Adisa, Sharon G. Flake, and Calida Rawles for volunteering their time to make this contest a reality. And thank you, dear reader, simply for caring. Here are the results of the 2014 Colorism Poetry Contest Division 1: Ages 10-14 Winner: “Just the Color” by Jabari Butler Honorable Mentions “Accepted” by Rebecca Jimenez “Ares Red” by Gia Spann “Deep are the Victims” by Sophia Grudzina “My Light Shines” by Khloe Henry Division 2: Ages 15-19 Winner: “Midnight Girl” by Marlana Edwards Honorable Mentions “The Blacker the Berry” by Kiki Nicole “Color and its ‘ism’” by Kolby Whack “Scarred Eyes” by Joy… Read More

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fighting colorism inside essence magazine

Fighting Colorism while Reading Magazines

Magazines are one of humanity’s greatest creative/business  projects. My mom used to work at a bank inside of a grocery store. As a girl, I’d grab all the house and home magazines off the shelves to pass the time until she got off work. Then, in high school I discovered black hair magazines and Essence. I can honestly say that these magazines helped shape my ideas of the world and of myself. It began with the typical impulse to collect pictures and stories of my favorite celebrities at the time, but it soon grew into something more. I came to view magazines differently, and they served a deeper purpose than… Read More

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For a Brown Girl: who committed suicide when her rainbow wasn’t enough

“& this is for colored girls who have considered suicide / but are movin to the ends of their own rainbows” —Ntozake Shange In 1975 the poet Ntozake Shange published For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf. In April 2014, the rainbow proved insufficient for one colored girl, Karyn Washington, creator of the online communities For Brown Girls and The #DarkSkinRedLips Project. Like most of her fans, I didn’t know Karyn personally, but we exchanged a few tweets and emails about our common interests in colorism, self-love, and empowerment. I got the news of Karyn’s suicide on Friday afternoon and struggled to fight back tears the rest of… Read More

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5 Lessons on Colorism from Lupita Nyong’o’s Essence Speech

The talk continues about Lupita Nyong’o. Over the past few days, however, it’s gotten deeper than just her Hollywood stardom and high fashion domination. Ever since Lupita’s powerful speech about the effects of colorism at Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood event, more people are weighing in on the issue. Some, like me, are openly excited about this moment. Some might be a little more skeptical. Others are probably unaware that anything is happening. Regardless of what we ultimately believe about Lupita’s role in fighting colorism, it’s clear that she’s helping to spark discussion about colorism in ways that very few other celebrities have. After watching and reading Lupita’s speech, I… Read More

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Colorism Poetry Contest Judge: Sharon G. Flake

Colorism Poetry Contest Judge: Sharon G. Flake I’d like to introduce the second judge for the Colorism Poetry Contest, Sharon G. Flake! Sharon G. Flake is a prolific, award winning, Young Adult novelist, and author of The Skin I’m In. I really believe in the power of literature to help use heal from colorism and to change our attitudes about ourselves and others. Flake’s novels should be on every young person’s reading list. To learn more about Flake and her work, click here. Don’t forget that you can start submitting your poems to the Colorism Poetry Contest on April 1, 2014!

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3 siblings close up, one boy and two girls, for a poem about colorism

Fair Weather: A Poem About Colorism

I wrote the following poem about colorism when I was in junior high, circa 1997. I don’t remember my exact age or the exact time. I do know that this was the first time I’d ever expressed my thoughts about colorism, and It was more than a decade later before I ever tried to speak or write about colorism again. One of the reasons I wanted to launch the Colorism Poetry Contest is to give people the kind of platform that I would have benefited from. Rather than writing poems and tucking them away in notebooks, never to be shared with anyone, this contest will give people the chance to offer their expressions to the… Read More

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Colorism and Black History Month

Everyone has a different opinion about February as Black History Month. Some wonder why it’s necessary, or even if it’s a form of “reverse racism.” Others think it’s very necessary, but poorly executed. While I’ve always been a supporter of celebrating Black History Month, this year I want to discuss colorism and Black History Month. Colorism Healing through Black History One way to heal from colorism is to cultivate pride in being people of African descent. Since colorism is the result of white supremacy, it’s necessary for our communities to celebrate black history as a way to reverse the harmful effects that centuries of white supremacy have had on us.… Read More

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brief introduction to colorism for children and young adults

A Brief Introduction to Colorism for Children and Young Adults

I. The Purpose of this Resource The purpose of this Introduction to Colorism is to help parents, educators, mentors, and counselors facilitate discussions about colorism with young people of all ages. The following is meant to give youth an introductory glimpse of what colorism is, where it comes from, and how it affects people. This is done primarily through literature and discussion/written responses. Whether or not they’ve ever heard of the term “colorism,” you will find that many people have observed or experienced acts of colorism at some point in their lives, while others have not. These materials are designed with both sets of audiences in mind. II. What is Colorism?… Read More

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Lupita Nyong’o Strikes a Blow to Colorism in Hollywood

Lupita Nyong’o has skyrocketed into the national and international spotlight since the release of 12 Years a Slave and the buzz surrounding the current award season. 12 Years came out in October of 2013 with Nyong’o playing the supporting role of Patsy. Since then, Nyong’o was a favorite for all of the national Hollywood awards. She didn’t take home a Golden Globe, but she recently snagged a SAG and a CCA (Screen Actors Guild and Critic’s Choice Award). She’s also been nominated for an NAACP Image Award and an Academy Award. She’s been the talk of fashion and entertainment circles and can be seen on magazines, news broadcasts, social media,… Read More

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black girl with plaits via blue skyz media on flickr; help your children deal with colorism

Are You Doing Enough to Help Your Child Deal with Colorism?

“I always tell my daughter she’s beautiful,” said one father in response to our discussion about colorism. He, like many parents, believed that she was too young for any discussion beyond that. Like many parents, he thought that this vague show of affection was enough to ward off the world’s animosity toward dark skin and Afrocentric features. Yet despite his regular proclamations of his daughter’s beauty, she herself actually saw very little beauty or worth in dark skin. I could see it, but he was clearly in denial. If you really want to help your child deal with colorism, it’s time to stop relying on the easy excuses. Why merely… Read More

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