jackmeoff182 asked: Do you feel like in the black community there's favoritism over "light skin" rather than "dark skin"? Btw I love your blog. :)


Hi, thanks for the blog compliment!

Absolutely there is preference for light skin over dark skin, and not just in the Black community but globally. The fact that people who are darker skinned in their particular culture tend to be poorer, more imprisoned, have more bleaching products marketed to them, are considered less attractive (or the flip side is fetishized but not truly appreciated), and are regularly dissociated from “beauty” and “goodness” is only the tip of the iceberg with this issue. 

Alice Walker defined colourism (also spelled colorism) as “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color” in In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens. Colourism prevails intraracially and interracially for Black people because of the same reasons; the dominance of Eurocentric beauty myths via White supremacy, external racism by Whites and internalized racism by Black people, and rigid notions of femininity and masculinity as it pertains to race and complexion. White supremacy and anti-Blackness.

In the Black community specifically, yeah, we have a lot to regularly unpack and deconstruct around colourism, how we proliferate it ourselves and how it impacts us when proliferated by Whites and hegemonic norms. Both things impact this favoritism. But to be clear, this is oppression and it is institutional and not solely interpersonal favoritism. Colourism is NOT just dark skinned Black women being “jealous,” not solely about the cishet Black male gaze, not solely about dark skinned Black women being “mean” to light skinned Black women or any obtuse simplification meant to reduce the fact that it is oppression and it is institutional for dark skinned Black people. It is NOT solely about cishet Black men not wanting to date dark Black women. And I get really angry when this complex global oppression is reduced to “jealousy” of light skinned Black women and dating cishet Black men versus the full nuanced picture that it is.

When someone Black says that Black people treat them worse than White people do regarding having dark skin, they are telling a true story. That actually does happen sometimes to some Black people. But…they have to include in that story that White supremacy is the parent of colourism, Whites have the luxury of fetishizing dark skin without consequence, Whites may be interpersonally more nice but still be involved in discriminatory hiring practices, perpetrating stereotypical norms about beauty in media/legislation and supporting a State that regularly commits violence against Black bodies, especially dark skinned ones. So them not playing the dozens and insulting dark skin in the way someone Black might (as the latter has internalized White supremacist thinking because of oppression) does not remove their culpability in colourism as a system of oppression. They benefit from anti-Blackness even if they think dark skinned Black people are “hot.” 

Something else to consider; while because of sexism and misogynoir, colourism tends to impact Black women more than Black men, colourism does impacts Black men. Like…there’s a reason why when you look at a collage of Black men who’ve been extrajudicially killed, they’re usually dark. While any Black men can deal with racial profiling and police abuse sanctioned by the State, the myth of the “violent thug” and “brute” is more closely associated with dark Black men and their bodies. I also mentioned how colourism shapes Black men in media when I wrote about the film Fast & Furious 6 and discussed Ludacris’ character versus Tyrese’s character. Also think about the Black men in Black films like Sprung and Poetic Justice; who were the “good” ones? Who’s usually “good men” in Tyler Perry films?

Check out some of my past essays and posts specifically on colourism or ones that include its impact with other factors mentioned:

Also see this essay list: On Beauty Politics

(There’s a good HuffPo article by @blkgirlwithapen"You’re Pretty for a Dark-Skinned Girl": The Continuing Significance of Skin Tone in "the Black Community" that mentions not just beauty politics/media which I discuss a lot, but has some links to CJ issues, marriage etc.)

Hope this information helps! Take care. 

It’s funny, the stereotypes we given. Lazy, as if we ain’t build an entire country on our backs. Thieves, as if we wasn’t stolen from our home. Hateful, as if we was the ones that murder for dark skin. Selfish, as if we took over another people’s country and claimed they land as our own. Funny, how them stereotypes so perfectly describe the ones who done doomed us all.

—My grandmother, talking to my brother who was recently called, “nothing but a black thug” for daring to wear a hoodie in the rain. (via asiaraymonet)

(via reverseracism)


hollywood sure has an easy time finding brown and black people to play terrorists, thugs, drug dealers, gangsters, servants, “barbarians”, hypersexualized or desexualized caricatures but all of a sudden you need a lead role and


gosh where did they go i swear we put them here right after zero dark thirty??

(Source: gaymergirls, via reverseracism)





a discussion we had in WLC concerning women.

And guys on here get so bent out of shape when we voice our opinions on how we feel unwanted by men, especially black men. Like we’re a last option. And I’ve experienced this in all walks of life. This wasn’t just an isolated incidence. That way of thinking is prevalent. Regardless of the opinions of 50 or even a 100 black men on tumblr. Folks get on here and act like they forget how the real world operates and thinks and then points the finger at us when we voice frustrations. And this is not to say all black men feel this way, but I come across more that do than don’t. And many women react the way these women did because they’re conditioned to think they are a last option, if an option at all. It’s so sad to think we believe someone is lying when they pick us first. Sorry for all the commentary on your video, Walker.

I think it’s sad that as I watched this video as a black woman I was also very surprised that he prefers black women. It’s so unheard of nowadays for a black man or any other type of man to say they prefer black women. It is refreshing to hear that we are wanted (even though I know some men want us). It is just so rare to hear that we are wanted. I feel like I have been conditioned to feel less than or only good as the second option or the last resort (especially because I am a darker skinned black woman). I wish more men that preferred black women would stand up and be heard like this guy so more black women would understand that we truly are desirable as companions, girlfriends, and wives and not just as sexual fantasies. There are men out there that really want us.

The hate is real.

(via johnnycedwards)