♦ Raise critical awareness about colorism around the world by providing a hub of information and resources
♦ Facilitate solutions and healing through creative and critical work
♦ Support other efforts to address colorism around the globe
Colorism Healing Writing Contests
In 2014, CH held the first National Colorism Poetry Contest and attracted over 300 submissions from across the country. The contest was judged by the phenomenal and award-winning authors Sharon G. Flake, Opal Palmer-Adisa, and Calida Rawles. 2017 marks the 3rd year of contests, and this year we’ve added an ESSAY division! Click to learn more or enter the contest.
We will continue to hold annual contests of various kinds designed to give you a creative and productive outlet for self-expression and healing.
New Book: Colorism Essays and Poems
The Colorism: Essays & Poems anthology features the best writing submitted to the 2017 Colorism Healing Writing Contest. Representing diverse voices, ages, languages, ethnicities, and styles, this collection offers a global picture of colorism’s impact on individual lives. Writers in this volume explore a range of themes including family dynamics, the trauma of colonialism and slavery, skin bleaching, self-love, the healing process, and more. This edition includes discussion questions and writing prompts for extended personal or group work.
As part of the CH mission, we also take our work offline to provide training, workshops, professional development, conference presentations, guest lectures, and more. CH has also been featured on radio stations WBEZ 91.5 Chicago Public Radio and KCEB 88.1 in Las Vegas. In 2016 I cohosted the Black Weblog Awards. You can also find CH on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance blog.
To book Sarah for your next event, click here.
- East Baton Rouge Parish School System District Wide Professional Learning Community (Baton Rouge, LA, October 4, 2017)
- “Shades of Her” documentary screening & panel discussion (Baton Rouge, LA, October 8, 2017)
- Louisiana Book Festival (Baton Rouge, LA, October 28th, 2017)
- Book Release Virtual Party! for Colorism Essays and Poems (YouTube Live, November 5, 2017)
The Colorism Database
CH features a Colorism Database with over 300 entries identifying various types of work on colorism from around the globe. This includes everything from scholarly research to musical plays. The works included in the database span an entire century. Click here to browse the Colorism Database.
I wanted to start Colorism Healing because the stuff I found online at the time was extremely limited. I was saddened by the fact that many popular sites were merely using colorism as a topic of celebrity gossip to stoke reactions and arguments from viewers. Other sites had one or two basic posts about colorism, but nothing that really explored the topic in depth. Other online resources were difficult to access, such as books, movies, and academic articles. And finally, nothing I found at that time gave much attention to healing. Nothing I found really attempted to address the question: So now that we know colorism is a thing, what can we do about it? How can we heal?
Colorism Healing is still very much developing as an online resource and community, but it will always focus on the day-to-day, personal and public healing process. I believe there are others out there searching for something like I was a couple of years ago, and I believe they can find it at CH.
Sarah L. Webb- Founder
According to my mother, I was five when I whispered the words: “That’s cus she’s light skin.” That whisper at age five was followed by many years of silence. Then at age 26 I started blogging. In a very public way, I confronted all my fears of speaking about colorism. Reactions ranged from admiration, to curiosity, to rage (even from people I identified as friends). I believe having to face that initial anger over my decision to openly discuss colorism gave me determination and confidence going forward. What began as a few posts on another blog eventually grew into ColorismHealing.org.
I’m currently a PhD student in English at Louisiana State University with interests in literacy, digital media, race and gender. I have previously taught college composition and high school English, managed online content for local news and TV stations, and done freelance writing and editing for blogs, small businesses, and local magazines. I’ve also spent significant time as a youth mentor and coach for writers and performers. A number of my own poems, stories, and essays have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies, and in 2013, I won the “Free Angela” blogging contest for my post about Angela Davis. I’ve most recently started blogging for Teaching Tolerance, and I continue to speak and offer workshops about colorism. Contact me at Sarah@ColorismHealing.org.
Janice B. Ledet- Editor & Event Coordinator
Growing up as a child, I witnessed and experienced colorism in a way unique to Southwest Louisiana. As a mother, I recognized how people reacted to my children having different skin tones. Because of this, I wanted to make sure my children were culturally aware, so I did not shy away from discussing with them issues of racism and colorism. I believe it’s important to talk with children about colorism, because they probably already know it exists even if they can’t articulate it.
Beyond these experiences in my personal life, I have decades of experience working with and managing people in professional settings. In these positions, I’ve had the opportunity to serve, mentor, coach, and advise others in developing their professional and personal life skills. With my expertise, I hope to now help with healing our communities from colorism.