Stop Letting Whites Off the Hook for Colorism

I’d like to dispell the myth that white people are total outsiders when it comes to colorism. The notion that white people are completely clueless, innocent, and irrelevant when it comes to colorism is false. Some people claim that to white people “we’re all just black.” They believe that whites see no difference among blacks and do not treat blacks differently based on skin tone. That’s mostly untrue. To the Ku Klux Klan, yes, black people are just black regardless of skin tone, hair texture, facial features, etc. BUT, most white people are not members of the KKK. It’s true that many white people may not be familiar with the term “colorism” or… Read More

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Brave Love is Beautiful

“I wrote these words for everyone who struggles in their youth.” –Lauryn Hill, Miseducation For me (and I suppose for some of you too) true love is an act of intense courage. This first occurred to me in high school when one of my classmates called me brave for wearing my naturally textured hair. I simply let my hair grow the way it naturally grows from my scalp, as it always has since birth. And for that, I was considered… brave. Even as recently as this year, people still refer to my choice of personal style as an act of bravery. While it seems to defy gravity, my hair in… Read More

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Colorism is a Symptom and System of Oppression

Colorism is a symptom of oppression as well as a system of oppression. The specific oppression I speak of here is racism or “white supremacy.” Colorism is both a product and a tool of the umbrella institution of white supremacy. When I began reading Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire, I did not expect to find so many ideas relevant to colorism and colorism healing. Freire wrote Pedagogy in 1968, and it was translated from Portuguese to English in 1970. The book is based on Freire’s work with poor working people in Brazil. However, that very specific context of oppression has parallels with many others, and lots of people have… Read More

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Colorism in Relationships: Preference or Prejudice?

Why do we date who we date? What’s really behind our choice of marriage partners? Is love truly blind? And more to the point of this post, is there colorism in relationships?  If there is colorism in relationships, how can we tell the difference between a person who coincidentally falls for someone of a certain skin tone versus someone who is color struck? Here I present one perspective on this matter. Of course there are other viewpoints out there. If you’re new to this issue, I encourage you to explore those as well, after you’ve considered the following. Is there Colorism in Relationships? Yes. As Kola Boof says in this… Read More

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colorism in hip hop ave by Scott W

Colorism in Hip Hop: Keeping it Real

The phrase ‘keeping it real” was coined by the hip hop world, a genre of music I’ve been known to enjoy. But many of the biggest names in hip hop are consistently guilty of NOT keeping it real. This applies to many aspects of hip hop, but for our purposes, we’re going to examine colorism in hip hop. The following are eight aspects of colorism in hip hop that we must be “real” and honest about. 1) Colorism in hip hop does exist. There’s debate about whether or not colorism exists in general, so we can expect controversy when discussing whether or not colorism exists in hip hop. Many have… Read More

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The Epidemic of Skin Bleaching Around the World

Personal preferences. Individual lifestyle choices. Freedom… Those are some of the things people call upon to explain and justify their indifference about the things other people do. When we talk about something like skin bleaching around the world, they say it’s no different than pale people getting tans. Well, they’re right about that. Tanning and bleaching are very similar in that both can be deadly, especially for those who can’t afford vetted, high-quality bleaches. Of course most people survive these practices, but not without long-term damage to their skin and overall health. There’s also the literal cost of skin bleaching. People continue to exploit colorism and racism for profit. So, I… Read More

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Colorism in the Media Affects Women and Men Differently

Standing in the lobby of a movie theatre near my home, preparing to see the blockbuster hit The Butler, I noticed a movie poster for the upcoming movie Baggage Claim. The poster was a perfect example of how colorism in the media affects women and men differently. Though this has been blatant for years (see my fave example, Coming to America), the idea was fresh on my mind because I’d recently read this post by Anti-Intellect where he writes: “In the minds of many Blacks who have embraced white supremacist thinking, light skinned Black women represent both idealized beauty and femininity, and therefore are always “in style”…. We are much more comfortable with… Read More

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Opposing Colorism in Hip Hop Videos

While Hip Hop has many other problems (drugs, violence, homophobia, sexism, etc.), its standard of female beauty has long been a hot topic. Regardless of what we think about Hip Hop in general, it’s been labeled as part of the colorism problem; therefore, I think we should include Hip Hop in discussions about colorism remedies. In this post, I’ve been inspired by a particular artist to discuss opposing colorism in Hip Hop videos. Music videos is one of the first issues brought up in discussions about colorism in America. This is an obvious place to start when you consider Hip Hop’s ubiquity and massive influence around the globe along with its infatuation… Read More

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5 Reasons To Talk About Colorism

Deep breath. I’ve procrastinated on this one while I cultivate the courage to write it. Yes, I want to talk about colorism. As I type this around 11:11 pm, I’m sending my mom the following text message: “It helps to talk about it. I’ve kept a lot of pain to myself throughout my life and that silence hasn’t helped the pain go away. Talking about it validates [my experience and] validates how I feel.” I know what you might be thinking. I shouldn’t be seeking “external” validation, right? That’s easy to say at the intellectual level, when we’re removing ourselves from the situation. However, when dealing with chronic pain rooted… Read More

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