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

Is Colorism Affecting your Relationship?

Not long ago, a theology student in Atlanta emailed to ask my opinion on how colorism affects couples and how pastors could help couples dealing with colorism. Though I’ve previously written about colorism in relationships, this email and a recent conversation with a friend prompted me to revisit the topic from a slightly different angle. We usually discuss how colorism influences people’s decisions on who to date or marry, but we rarely hear discussions about how colorism continues to affect relationships beyond the initial decision to be or not to be with someone. If colorism is an issue for a couple, here are five ways it might negatively impact their… Read More

Continue Reading

7 Ways to Fight Colorism with Technology

There are plenty of ways to fight colorism in our everyday lives, and technology is obviously one of my favorite. Technology, when available, is a great tool for fighting colorism because it engages your creativity, promotes media literacy, and connects you to people and information around the globe. Here are 7 ways you can use technology in your daily life to help heal colorism. 1. Research your family history. Researching your family history is a way to deal with personal struggles related to colorism because it can give you a better sense of self. By reconnecting with your roots, you gain perspective on where you came from, where you are, and who you’ve come… Read More

Continue Reading

Eradicating Generational Hair Shaming

A Movement to Save Our Thinning Hair and Self-Worth By Kirleen Richardson Neely PhD, LPC-S We have all been bombarded with the abundance of YouTube videos and blogs discussing the concept of Good hair vs. Bad hair and more recently Natural vs. Relaxed hair for African American women. It’s clear that ethnic hair still carries with it power, pain, and controversy. This topic seems to have stood the test of time largely because of its deep connection to slavery. As with many things in modern day society, most discussion has centered on being for it or against it. What has struck me about these conversations is the lack of focus on… Read More

Continue Reading

What it really takes to End Colorism

So, you want to know how to end colorism? Well, if you were looking for a quick fix, I’m sorry to tell you there’s no easy answer. The issue is as complicated as any other social problem. But we must start somewhere. And the fact that you’re here reading this is a good sign that we can and will make progress in our efforts to stop the cycle of colorism. There are various strategies, practical things we can do to end colorism. I get into some of these in other blog posts. Here I want to talk less about how to end colorism and more about what  it takes to end colorism. Courage and Honesty Courage and… Read More

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading
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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Racism Isn’t Our Only Problem

By Sarah Fears The campus of DePauw University has been swarmed with accusations of minority students not being heard by the administration and White students. There have been allegations of students and faculty being racist toward minorities on campus, and that the current cultural climate is hindering the performance and rise of underrepresented students. Yes, I can attest that there have been racist incidents on DePauw’s campus. I can say without hesitation that I have been subjected to offensive and demeaning comments while sitting in the classroom or walking through our dorms by White students. However, while I may have had only a handful of racist comments made to me… Read More

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading