Last night the much anticipated documentary about skin complexion in the African American/ Black community aired on Own. Many hoped this would create an open dialogue to bridge the gap between “light skin” and “dark skin”; others knew this topic is deeper than what a simple documentary could service.
Throughout our lives skin complexion is used to identify and often determine who we associate ourselves with. Light skin was often associated with long hair and being stuck up. Dark skin was often associated with being a second choice behind dark skin and somehow not as desirable. Even walking down the street, if someone wanted to get your attention they would often yell “hey light skin” if they did not know who you were.
I applaud the effort of the documentary (in spite of the questionable commercial placement throughout its airing), I observed the online dialogue in reference to the documentary and realized some people truly were enlightened by the documentary and the subsequent conversations that took place. Unfortunately, we will return to calling folks “high yellow” and “tar baby”…it’s programmed too deep in our culture.
flashback from. June 24, 2013