Photos from the Blogging While Brown preview tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Colorism at the Smithsonian

While in Washington DC for the Blogging While Brown Conference in July, we got a preview tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (opens Sept. 24). I was pleasantly surprised to see Colorism featured in one of the exhibits! Along with basic information about the African American struggle against anti-black racism, the exhibit highlighted classic works of literature, film, and art that address colorism, including Dark Girls and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. When I consider that Oprah Winfrey had a significant hand in making this museum a reality, it makes perfect sense. She’s been a big supporter of tackling the issue of colorism.… Read More

Continue Reading

2016 Colorism Healing Poetry Contest Now Open!

The Colorism Healing Poetry Contest is BACK! The purpose of the Colorism Healing Poetry Contest is to raise awareness about colorism among all peoples and to provide a productive, creative outlet for self-expression and healing. Click here for a definition of colorism. Deadline: April 30, 2016 Eligibility This year the poetry contest is open to all ages separated into three divisions: •Division 1- Ages 11 and under •Division 2- Ages 12-19 •Division 3- Ages 20+ Awards •1st Place- $50, Publication online and in print •2nd Place- $25, Publication online and in print •Honorable Mentions (as chosen by judges)- Publication online and in print •Editor’s Picks (as chosen by the editor)-… Read More

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading
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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Colorism in Social Media: What Can We Do?

Colorism in social media can be seen as merely a reflection of what goes on in the world at large; however, the very nature of social media has actually transformed the ways in which we experience colorism in modern society. Throughout history, colorism has always been perpetuated in large part through various forms of media, from ancient stories and texts that equated dark with evil and light with good, to prejudicial casting in Hollywood films. But social media has a few characteristics that make it unique from other, older forms of media. Social media: allows people to be anonymous or create personas, therefore allowing them to say things they might have… Read More

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Light Skinned Mother, Dark Skinned Daughter: an Interview

For this chat, I interviewed my mother. This was eye opening for me because in our face-to-face conversation I learned about details of my childhood that I have no memory of. I hope you enjoy a new voice in this conversation. Do you consider your self dark-skinned, light-skinned, or neither? Honestly, I still don’t consider myself a light-skinned African American. I may be a light brown but certainly not light-skinned. I attribute that to where I grew up. There you had a large population of really light-skinned African Americans that sometimes looked more white than black. We called them mulattoes. What moments in your youth made you most aware of colorism?… Read More

Continue Reading

An Interview on Sisters and Colorism

Two girls of different skin tones, growing up together as sisters born of the same mother AND father. Sisters and colorism collide, creating a unique relationship. This is a glimpse into the mind of the lighter skinned sister as she reflects on colorism. Describe your home/family and work life. I have been married for five years and am expecting my first child in March of next year. I am the middle child of three children and grew up in Baton Rouge, LA with my mother. My parents were divorced when I was 11. I currently practice school social work at a high school in southern Louisiana. I am a social… Read More

Continue Reading