Colorism

Light Girls: All tears and no solutions.

light girls

What did I think about Light Girls? Chile!

It was nothing but mostly famous and wealthy brown skin women, who want to be light, complaining about how unfair their life is/was because they are privileged.

Here is how it went. For the first 30 minutes, they touched on how light skin came from slave rape and of course the racist one drop rule. Those points were valid.

The next 30 minutes was about how they had to act “blacker.” Whatever that means because that sounds racist as heck and how bad they were treated. Here is a summary. The evil, mean, jealous and ugly dark skin girls treated them bad, so lets ignore the systematic racism, intraracism, colorism and misogynoir dark skin women endure and just focus on how we light skin privileged girls feel.

Next they discussed global skin bleaching and how Black men preferred light skin women. Ask yourself why? Because there is privilege in light skin, but lets pretend that’s not real. We see this on Twitter, in the Black media and in rap videos. Nothing new.

It closes with the unity touchy feely part. You know, how those evil, mean, jealous and ugly dark skin girls should feel good, tell yourselves you are pretty, and how we are all Black so lets pretend we are treated the same. Basically putting the onus on the people who are on the victims of their light skin privilege. Sounds familiar? Like Dark Girls, it offered no solid solutions and it did nothing to address structural intraracial inequalities.

Look, feeling good won’t solve this. Talking about it won’t solve it. Taking action and ending light skin privilege will solve it. If we really want Black unity, we must end light skin privilege. Everything else, like this documentary is nothing but talk.

Unlike “Light Girls” here are examples of privilege and 11 real ways to end light skin privilege starting now.

We are all Black but you as a light skin person are benefiting from light skin privilege.

30 Light skin Privileges Light Skin Blacks have that Dark Skin Blacks Don’t.

Black Men in the Entertainment Industry who have dissed Black Women that Black Women still support!!!(((WARNING: Laced with madness, the stupid, profanity, and hella colorism)))

Part Deuce:  Black Men in the Entertainment Industry who have dissed Black women that Black Women still support

Why do I focus on Colorism and Intra-racism? The question I am asking is why are you willing to ignore it?

11 Things You Can Do To End Colorism

Remember the only limit you have is the one you have placed on yourself. Think, be and know that you are limitless.

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35 comments

  1. Brianna 19 January, 2015 at 23:29 Reply

    I think the real construction begins when we finally accept who we are.
    I’m dark skinned. I’ve been teased taunted and humiliated because of it. Certain men refuse to date me because I’m dark skinned. I know women who are light skinned. Teased taunted and humiliated for it. Certain men only want them because they are light skinned and see them as more of a trophy to show off rather than a woman deserving of love and oneness with her man.
    Just imagine two little girls, one light skinned, one dark skinned, at the beach, with shovels and castle building molds, the ocean just washed away our castle of self-worth self-esteem and a sense of oneness. That’s kinda where I see us as women of color, in the AA community. That wasn’t just the light skinned girls castle, or the dark skinned girls castle. Ours. We as dark skinned women can’t start mocking the lightskinned girl, “or poor you. You must of had it so rough. lol” because, let’s face it. We don’t have our castle anymore. She doesn’t either. She may have the shovel (light skin privledge, what have you), but we are both still have empty hands. It takes the both of us, united, to build our caste of self-esteem, self-love and sense of oneness together. If we can build it together, not letting men, or white people, or any ignorant person convince us, one is more valued than the other. If we don’t let a pixelated box (TV) tell our little girls what is beautiful and what is not. If we can internalize self-love in the AA community like we internalized self-hate. If we can celebrate our diversity regardless of hair texture (natural or otherwise), skin color (dark, light or otherwise) and also embrace our minds and hearts more than anything. Then only then We can unite as one.

    (sorry that was really longg..)
    thanks for this post xoxo

  2. Von 19 January, 2015 at 23:41 Reply

    Not once did they mention what role white supremacy plays in it. What role men play in perpetuating colorism. I saw this as nothing but sensationalism to attract viewers.

    Bill Duke’s name might have been listed because of the previous documentary, but this one was produced by a black woman named, Stephanie Frederic.

    It all goes together with what many people have been conditioned to believe they must be accepted by whites. The pain may be real for those who have been damaged by colorism, but we have to move beyond the superficial.

    While we’re allowing ourselves to be alienated by our differences, the European continues to dominate.

  3. Goldman Blacks, MBA 20 January, 2015 at 00:55 Reply

    Watched it, seemed to avoid delving into much historical root cause, which I see as privilege based on what white people prefer. It is a fair tool for sparking meaningful discussion, but we black folks talk a lot too. The damage of colorism runs deep and wide among the diaspora and various systems in which we try to survive in. At some point we must center our own standards (whatever we decide them to be). Sadly, I’m not particularly optimistic, but I’d celebrate like mad to be proven wrong.

  4. Marie 20 January, 2015 at 03:07 Reply

    I read this article and the one about light-skinned privilege and they’re both laughable. Why? Because they both make arguments based on assumptions that one, aren’t necessarily true and, two, are applied generally when all light skinned women haven’t had the same experience. And “privilege” is entirely relative. It’s absolutely amazing to me that anyone who hasn’t ACTUALLY experienced something can speak with so much certainty about what that experience is like based on “statistics” that don’t even cover certain variables and aren’t even representative of the entire population because that’s next to impossible to accomplish. And those statistics and their usage within both articles don’t acknowledge, nor do they account for, the people who fall outside of those numbers…because there ARE people who fall outside of those numbers. And how hypocritical do you have to be to expect and DEMAND sympathy, empathy, compassion, acknowledgement, and essentially an apology for how one group has been treated while almost entirely discounting the experiences and pain of the group you feel justified in making demands from? Please, spare me. And what’s so ironic is that light skinned people are demonized if they don’t jump on the black side of a black vs. white thing while having to put up with this kind of mindset from the black community on a regular basis. Family? Loyalty? Community? Seriously? And people are actually cosigning this lol Like this is right. Newsflash: The world does not revolve around your perspective of it, and it’s not limited to the depth or breadth of your own personal experiences. There are over 7 billion people in the world…7 billion individuals with different stories…and every single one of those stories matter. They ALL are important. They’re ALL valid because someone actually LIVED it every single day and only that ONE person is an authority on what it’s like to be that person. If you don’t want people telling you about your life and what your experiences have been and how you should react to them, be mindful of how you come at other people about what they’ve been through and what they should and should not be doing. Unless you’ve spent some time walking in a person’s shoes and viewing the world through the lens of their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and perceptions, you honestly don’t know what the hell you’re talking about in regards to what it’s like to be them. The BEST you can do is assume…and THAT needs to be acknowledged for YOUR own good because an implicit bias is the first step to losing an argument with anyone who actually knows how to make one.

    P.S. “Bougie” is actually spelled “bourgeois” everywhere except urbandictionary.com

    P. P. S. You have an issue with light skinned women and how they perceive themselves, but you classify your own self as someone who’s essentially stuck-up and prideful? Cute.

    • Bougie Black Girl 20 January, 2015 at 08:24 Reply

      Are you denying that there were paper bag tests? How about the men who blatantly said in the documentary how light skin Black women were seen as trophies? Did you even listen to Soledad O’Brian who admitted it last night? Did you watch the documentary last night because they lightly hinted at it? How about this , this–> http://hinterlandgazette.com/2014/01/skin-tone-memory-bias-light-skinned-black-men-perceived-successful.html or this http://newsone.com/2000618/light-skin-vs-dark-skin/. You do realize these are privileges dark skin people, in particular dark skin women don’t have. You sound just like Whites who deny White privilege. The same exact way. Yet you don’t see how problematic that is. Fyi, even with all of the evidence you have yet to prove those studies are lies.

      I am an African American uses African American vernacular. That is what “bougie” is. I suspect your subtle jab at it is a reflection of your lack of empathy for Black people. I can’t help your resentment of Black people or lack of empathy. You need to figure out where it comes from. Have a great day, thank you for commenting and go watch Dark Girls.

      • Acara 22 January, 2015 at 14:35 Reply

        Speaking for myself and mostly in support of the original comment…I don’t deny that colorism exists. I see it in my own family and community. I enjoy reading comments about the topic, but what rubbed me the wrong way about your article is the tone. While there are certainly people who prefer living with their clouded views of race relations, there are still very many of us light skinned girls who don’t perceive any sort of privilege. Especially when their kids and husband are routinely singled out for their blackness by the police just like the dark skinned folks, for example.

        The tone of the article tends to make light skinned girls seem to not understand the struggles. Well, many of us absolutely do. The degree of pain I feel and experience may differ from the next, but that doesn’t devalue any of the wrongs done to me just because I have less melanin.

        Privileged? Yes. I have the “good” skin, hair and features, but that doesn’t automatically mean I haven’t been where you’ve been. Colorism happens to me too.

        • Lady A 27 January, 2015 at 04:14 Reply

          What colorism have you experienced as a light skin black woman? And I’m not talking about someone wanting to beat you up because they thought you, thought you were pretty or stuck up, that’s not colorism. I don’t understand how you equated your dark skin husband (of course he’d be dark skin) being targeted as you experiencing colorism, like??? That’s not your struggle that’s his.

          I want legit similar struggles that actually correlates to colorism which you can look up the definition, which states the discrimination against those WITH DARKER SKIN. I can gather a sea of examples of colorism against dark skin people past and present, including scientific articles that expose colorism within the judicial system, educational system, and corporate world that favor lighter skin over dark skin.

          Find me studies past and present that shows discrimination against light skin people equivalent to what dark skin people experience.

          Find me social media memes, and comments comparing light skin women to roaches, animals, tennis shoes, roach spray, and making borderline comments parallel to that a racist would by people of color, black men and black women

          Find me instances where dark skin women have been chosen to play roles of historical figures who were light skin women, like we’ve seen light skin actresses be placed in roles for dark skin women for years.

          Find me a rapper who isn’t obsessed with light skin women and insults dark skin women.

          I want to see this stuff posted here by you since you’ve want to say that light skin women experience colorism like dark skin women.

          It kills the heck of out you to admit you have privilege because that would mean not being seen in a “favorable” light for a change as part of a privileged group and you all aren’t used to that.

  5. Lynne 20 January, 2015 at 08:14 Reply

    If you have ever taken a statistics class, you would know that stats have errors so your studies are subjective. And Marie is right….you call yourself “bougie” using the same term that fair light skinned Bourgeois used to define themselves as better than dark skinned women within the black community in the early 20th century. You are a joke and full of hate. Whatever following you have, which doesn’t look like a lot, has issues and insecurities and instead of empowering them you fuel hate and tap into these women insecurities to perpetuate the thing you say you fight against, colorism.

    • Bougie Black Girl 20 January, 2015 at 09:11 Reply

      All of a sudden every study is invalidated because they go against your interests. OK.

      It is OK how you feel what you feel. The problem is that your feelings do not excuse 400 years of systematic structural colorism, racism, intraracism and misogynoir dark skin people face that you won’t.
      Many in privilege fail to see it is bigger than someone telling you that you aren’t Black enough. Dark skin people are discriminated by both Blacks and nonBlacks. If you and a dark skin person were up for a job with the same credentials, you’d get the job first. That is systematic! Dark girls face harsher school suspensions than light girls. That is systematic. For the same crime, a dark skin woman faces a harsher sentence because of her complexion. That is systematic. You are the standard of beauty in the Black community. You are more likely to get married even though you are a minority within the Black population. Those are systematic.

      Look beyond your hurt and someone telling you that you are not Black. It is bigger than your hurt feelings. Light skin privilege has economic, health, and societal impacts that negatively discriminate against your fellow dark skin counterparts.

      They won’t go away because you want to ignore it or say we are all Black so let’s pretend everything is even. If you really want to end the division we’ve got to end light skin worship and privilege in Black spaces.

  6. KaylaWildflower 20 January, 2015 at 09:18 Reply

    Brianna is right, and Marie makes good points too. No one in the film denied light skin privilege. This film was about light girls’ experience, and if they were tormented by darker skinned girls, that’s their damaging, hurtful experience. The film made the point that it was even more hurtful because it came from within the community. Everyone wants to fit in and belong somewhere. Your article sounds bitter and angry at them, and they didn’t ask to be born with any particular skin tone. Sure, maybe every light girl should be working to end light-skinned privilege, but it is a tall order if they are degraded, harassed, mocked, and their experience invalidated by the very people on whose behalf they are being asked to work.

    • Bougie Black Girl 20 January, 2015 at 12:14 Reply

      Using the angry bitter BW stereotype is wrong and misogynist. I am far from it. I am using facts. Facts, some are unable to deal with. Light skin privilege is easy to reject. Just like you can reject racism, you can with colorism. It is a personal choice.

  7. JoJo 20 January, 2015 at 13:03 Reply

    I watched “Light Girls” and although it is sad that some of them dealt with some hateful behaviors from darker hued girls, I didn’t hear too much about how “Light Girls” sometimes look down, exclude and mistreated “Dark Girls” AND “Brown Girls.” (I’m brown and been through some of the ugly experiences that both sides have expressed regarding the skin, hair, etc…

    At first I didn’t get a need to film the “Light Girls” documentary, but now I am glad I watched. I still don’t feel terribly bad for them because they know they are preferred and i believe that they are very proud of that.

    So, any word when will “Medium brown Girls” be filmed? Just kidding.

    Bougie Black Girl – Bottom line is that beauty does not have a color! I want to thank you for posting your thoughts about the documentary.

  8. Linda 20 January, 2015 at 21:30 Reply

    I watched “Light Girls” and found it to be a very interesting documentary, if nothing else. I didn’t find much outside of the same diatribe found in similar discourse. What struck me though was the difference in tone between “Dark Girls” and “Light Girls”. The prevailing mood of “Dark Girls” was sadness – the heartache and hopelessness of being born into a skintone that is vilified and demonized and not being able to do anything about it. On the other hand, the mood of “Light Girls” seemed to be one of anger and indignation, and I didn’t understand it until one of the women explained it perfectly, and I’ll paraphrase: “you have this light skin, which is supposed to be good, and yet you’re still black, so you have to deal with the same prejudice black people deal with…a double-edged sword”. I don’t know if any point on the color scale is preferable to any other, especially since colorism is simply another form of racism, and in the end everybody loses.

    Having Diahann Carroll and Tatyana Ali speak on the light-skinned experience really mystified me. I’ve never thought of either one as light-skinned. I’m the exact same color as Tatyana Ali and never once in my life have I been referred to as light. But this might also mean that we don’t always agree on these terms.

    Depending on one’s facial features, light skin can be a true burden. A non-attractive light-skinned girl is sometimes told she’s a “waste of yellow”…can you imagine how hurtful it would be to hear that?

    In high school. I ran with a group of dark-skinned girls who I was secretly afraid of. I didn’t understand why they hated a popular bi-racial girl, who I secretly admired. So in order to avoid getting beat up by my “friends”, I went along with them in torturing the bi-racial girl. At the time, I thought we were just “teasing” her, just having a little fun. Until she confronted me in the hallway and with a look of anguish, asked me, “Linda, why do you hate me”? I will never forget that look because for the first time, I realized that I was dealing with a real person. Not an object. And even though she was light-skinned and had “good” hair and could fit into designer jeans (unlike most of us black girls), she still had feelings and vulnerabilities and just wanted to be liked like anyone else.

    As for black men, I wasn’t surprised by what they had to say in either documentary. I’ve always believed that since black men seek fraternization with white men, they choose mates based on how easily the woman will be accepted in white society. (“Hey man, I’ve got a woman who looks like yours – can I be in the club now?) I’m a lesbian so I don’t deal with black men intimately (thank God). Both of my sisters have married men who aren’t black (one is white, the other Mexican). Thank, God for that, too. I think that black men are the biggest purveyors of colorism, and maybe they have to be because outside of sports, manipulating women may be the only other arena in which they can feel powerful.

    Regarding the documentary, the one thing I most disagreed with was one woman’s intimation that light-skin girls are more susceptible to sexual assault by men. That is patently untrue. Having worked in social services for 14 years, and still bearing the scars of a rape at 15, I will assert that when it comes to sexual assault skin tone is of no significance – if you have a vagina, you’re game.

    So will this divide ever close? I don’t think so. But it’s not all hopeless. When you get to be my age (50+), none of it matters any more. You’re more interested in your health, finances, spiritual quest and your children or grandchildren (if you have them). Skin tone doesn’t matter because you’re happy to have gotten this far in life

    P.S. Rock on, Bougie Black Girl! This is an excellent website and I thank you for giving us all a space to voice our opinions, and hopefully learn something new while we’re at it.

  9. Jess 22 January, 2015 at 02:53 Reply

    It doesn’t surprise me that you have people in the comment section who are denying that this issue or privilege exist. Its practically the same as a poor white person being angered and mystified that they have systemic white privilege. With the issue of colorism, everyone no matter where you are placed on the color spectrum suffers. Everyone’s experiences and pain are valid and matters. However, one cannot with an honest conscious act like the struggles of darker complected women/girls are comparable to lighter women. Your blackness being tested or not fitting in is not the same as generally being seeing or made to feel inferior and ugly. Overall, I think this doc was a fail and problematic because:

    1) Some of the women on there were extremely condescending. One even said that an ugly dark short haired girl hated on her because she was light and pretty. Like WTF. Sorry, it is apparent it’s because your an asshole.

    2) They implied that lighter girls are more likely to be sexually abused. Is this a proven fact?

    3) Like bougie said they did not offer any real solutions. Singing koumbaya and pretending colorism doesn’t exist will not make it go away. Maybe does who gain some benefit don’t really want it to.

    Anyways, I’m waiting for the brown girls doc, I’m beginning to feel neglected watching this from the sidelines lol.

  10. Eva 22 January, 2015 at 07:57 Reply

    I feel this way. Everybody has privilege. If you are on a computer and reading this, you have privilege, if you can walk, talk, see, hear, etc, you have privilege. If you went to college and don’t have student loans, you have privilege. Everybody has privilege on some levels.

    Sadly, I really don’t think colorism is going anywhere, just like racism, sexism, ageism, abelism isn’t going anywhere. Nobody in their right mind will give up privilege willingly. The only way people give up privilege is if they have no choice, or if its in their best interest. For me, I think privilege serves no one because all it creates are resentments, anger and disharmony.

    So in the meantime, I think that both dark and light girls have to live the best lives they can. Yes, you can fight for change, but don’t wait for change to come to live your life.

  11. Eva 22 January, 2015 at 08:15 Reply

    One more thing. What makes colorism so bad is that if affects women so much more than it affects men.

    We live in a male dominated society, and that means that a woman’s worth and value is based on how desirable she is. If you think I’m wrong, ask why it is that fifty, sixty and seventy something actors are still considered sexy, while that’s not as true of women. Sean Connery was in a movie with Catherine Zeta Jones and they played lovers, even though Connery was old enough to be Zeta Jones’ father (or even grandfather).

    Because of this, if a woman isn’t considered desirable, she’s not considered “of value” in this world, at least not in the media. If the people who control things like magazines and networks think lighter skinned women are more desirable, then lighter skinned women will be the ones playing the wife, the girlfriend, the sexy, attractive one, while the darker skinned women play the side kick, the “ghetto” one, the woman who’s loud, overweight, the one that’s assumed to be the least attractive.

    This is BAD because it divides women into categories, visible and invisible, desirable and undesirable and important things like jobs and apartments and marriage partners can be based on these things and it causes women to turn themselves into pretzels, to put other women down, so as not to fall into the “undesirable” category.

  12. CC Solomon 22 January, 2015 at 21:32 Reply

    While we can’t say that every light skinned gal has been privileged we must admit that historically there was a system that allowed light people to be better off (although all might not have taken advantage or had an opportunity to). While the system no longer exist, the after effects do. The pain from dark and light still exist. The idea of what main stream society considers beautiful still holds the power. After watching the show I think I was most disturbed by what the men said, by the fact that yes many famous men are gravitating to other or light past the point of coincidence. What does that do to the psyche of a dark woman? We women can come together and support each other and that is helpful but the fact remains that dark skin is not the overall standard of beauty. There are some short term exceptions (Lupita) but it is still not the overwhelming thought. Just like a certain shape or size is valued so is a certain color or even hair color. Those outside of the ideal are affected and those inside the ideal are objectified. I wish I knew the fix.

  13. Linda 22 January, 2015 at 23:19 Reply

    I agree with Eva on the issue of privilege. We all have some degree of privilege in our lives. Just being free to speak our minds on this forum is a form of privilege.

    And I hadn’t even considered the economic disadvantages that dark-skinned women may suffer, such as being denied jobs or housing because of the color of their skin.

    But when it comes to marriage partners, has anyone ever really thought about being the chooser, instead of the “choosee? I’ve heard many dark-skinned women lamenting the fact that they’re passed over for dates in favor of a light-skinned woman. Or someone will tell you to your face that they only date light-skinned women. Ask yourself – would you really want that person? That right there would suggest that the person didn’t even care enough about him or herself to look for a quality other than skin tone. Just as you make a conscious decision to buy one pair of shoes over another, the same effort – really, more – should be put into choosing your own mate. Rather than waiting for him or her to decide if you or your skin tone is good enough for them, develop a discerning mind and you’ll soon see who, and who isn’t, worthy of your time.

    One last thing. Life isn’t fair. The minute the second person entered the world, the rights of the first were cut in half. Humans have been competing ever since. And we always will.

  14. Deborah 23 January, 2015 at 19:32 Reply

    I have an extreme issue with any article discussing light skinned privilege in terms that try to equate it to white privilege without first addressing the anger (within the African American community) that might fuel those assumptions, and a sense of responsibility on how EVERYONE in the black community is responsible for creating this madness.

    In addition, how we gloss over the psychological impact of how the resulting light skinned appearance, for the most part, is a result of the savagery of rape and how it represents life-long evidence that this brutal act of degradation and objectification took place.

    How we need to stop saying that being in the “house” as a slave was a “better” reality, when the entire institution of colonial slavery was perverse. The wounds of legally sanctioned forced servitude were endured by everyone who had a price tag by their name.

    The discussion of colorism within the African American community is a vastly different conversation about colorism within a racist American/global economy.

    It is similar to confusing different understandings of how sexism plays out within patriarchy. From different nuanced views and variables you can incorrectly come out with the blanket assumption that black women have it better than black men – in one arena – that will convince you to gloss over that they still are objectified and marginalized within systems and institutions amongst own.

    I can’t put myself within a context of conversation that negates my existence and truths as being valid with those who are denying their culpability to this reality that then obscures the motivation of their self-righteous anger that refuses to FIRST AND FOREMOST admit that I am one of their own. That would be emotionally masochistic.

    The issue of colorism with light skinned people is that they are fighting to belong and matter within a community that pushes them out based on stereotypical assumptions that they may or may not be complicit in creating.

    First address the psychological damage done to the raped woman and the child of that rape. Explore how the struggle for human dignity and healing was stunted within a system that classed them as being non-human, then come back with a degree of empathy and communal welcoming before you open up to discuss this stage of “privilege” that is assumed to exist.

    The light skinned person is not the dark skinned person’s enemy.

    They are both victims of a game of white supremacy that neither has the power to willfully manipulate.

    I also contend, that the limited degree of “acceptability” from White American society, that is presumed to exist for the light skinned African American, is sufficiently balanced out by the degree of suspicion, anger, and negative assumptions felt and dealt within the African American community.

    Tell me, what kind of dysfunctional self-protecting behaviors amongst this dysfunctional system might a light skinned person adopt to be able to daily survive.

    Where can they find a communal HOME to insulate them from the madness of a predominate oppressor who only sees them as PARTLY human and PARTLY acceptable?

    I don’t care how light the skin, how distinct the facial features, or how straight the hair. They will still be marginalized, in some degree, within this racist system.

    Their home of safety in not within the broad range of the African American community. Because they see them as PARTLY African American and PARTLY accepted.

    I don’t care how “down” a light skinned person maybe, or how hard they try show their appreciation of all the beautiful brown shades of African American existence and experience. They will still be viewed as the untrustworthy other until they can sufficiently prove their degree of “down-blackness” to those who have not already seen for themselves that they are “cool” and “down for the cause”.

    Tell me again about this “privilege”?

    What is missing is an awareness of the truths of the light skinned person.

    There is no room for the light skinned person to be heard without being forced to cancel out their truth with a imposed BUT.

    I find it very interesting that the movie Dark Girls was released. Shown, shared, and not disputed for being true in our community.

    Light Girls was couched after are re-airing of Dark Girls, and STILL it was subjected to a series of BUTs.

    It is not about denying anything. It is not an either/or situation. It is an also/and.

    Where is the level of empathy for the Light Girls absent the need to ensure its existence with a BUT.

    Hell, the documentary couldn’t even do it. It was really Dark Girls: Part 2, more so than Light Girls.

    The limitations of this article highlight my concern with addressing the subject forcing the issue of light skinned privilege. Within its limitations it perpetuates a level of injustice to all of the members the African American community as a whole. The fact that is DOES NOT mention it glosses over very integral points.

    Your this blog commentary was focused on the movie Light Girls Documentary. This article was written in 2012.

    The article was before the movie. My comments are after. I am relieved that FINALLY there is forum created, even in its limitations, through this movie, that it has made now acceptable to discuss.

    BUT, we are still forced to consider the BUTs.

    The gross subjectivity of this “privilege” is a narrow and moving target that is very hard to grasp and quantify. Who is asserting what is appropriately light? There is a wide range of hues that exist before you reach the complexion of a paper bag. AND this is a measuring tool that is used PREDOMINANTLY in the African American community.

    That is beside my point.

    How do we have a healing conversation. I answered in a manner that attempted to highlight the necessary groundwork/homework/reflection/investigation to get this conversation holistically done.

    This is not about an emotional response to being classed as one with privilege, this is about the misappropriation of the label of “privilege” especially, within the context of colorism pervasive in the African American community.

    There are levels of assumptions made, and based on those objectifying assumptions, it is viewed as a privilege. But, this negates the equally destructive “correcting” mindsets that have equal weight.

    A privilege is a result of a power granted by a group with which you belong.

    Getting a “pass” is one thing. Having a “privilege” is another.

    Passes can be revoked. Privileges are irrevocable benefits of belonging to a set group.

    Light skinned African Americans do not belong to the white supremacist group. They may get passes. BUT, those passes are easily revoked once they violate one of their rules.

    There are privileges associated with being African American. Light skinned African Americans are fighting to assert their irrevocable identities that by others are viewed as easily revocable passes.

  15. Lady A 27 January, 2015 at 04:20 Reply

    Light skin women want to be able to be the victim and the one who benefits from the privileges. They don’t want to let the privilege go which is why you will see them deflect and start going on and on about how white supremacy started it, and how we’re all black in the end. It reminds me of other privileged groups, like whites and men who will try to shout how #alllivesmatter or men go through sexism too when systematically it does not support any of those claims.

    These are reactions from privileged groups protecting their image and privileges. They’re been on the “good end” of everything that it’s terrifying to think of being seen like the oppressed group so they try to belong to everyone’s cause to stay on that pedestal. This is the same reaction whites do, same thing men do in the face of feminism, and so forth…

    Sorry I have to say it.

  16. Linda 28 January, 2015 at 16:24 Reply

    Lady A, your constant posts denying that light-skinned women have negative experiences related to their light skin, make it appear that you are the one who enjoys being the victim. As long as you can play the “they’ve gotten all the breaks” card, you’ve assured yourself the same attention you accuse light-skinned women of pursuing. It just seems like you’re looking for someone to feel sorry for you and make you feel better about not being light-skinned. No one can do that but you, You might begin by honest, self-examination of why you feel so disenfranchised. Maybe it’s not your skin tone. Maybe it’s just you. After all, the world is full of brown and dark-skinned women who love themselves just the way they are, and are so happy and fulfilled in their own lives that they don’t see light-skinned women (or anyone for that matter) as having it better than they do.

  17. SmhSorrow 1 March, 2015 at 00:00 Reply

    My light skinned privilege is being called a fat ass and harassed, isolated, rejected and hit by darker black people. That’s the gift I get for being around the same color as a bag.

  18. blue 14 March, 2015 at 13:16 Reply

    Very well written Linda/ (see bottom)

    .

    #Getting tired of what is valid in some, even maybe many respects, but… insidious in others. This is one of the reasons black men are weak and always try to have children with white, or lighter skinned women.

    They need to man up and support their sisters in the same accord. Start businesses in your communities to foster black employment, support of each other, etc, etc, – it is a very deep dark and complicated topic at times,

    One thing ‘Lady A” is not taking into account (and I think, Linda, you will get this/instinct says):

    – Lady A – do you expect a light skinned person to turn on their family for example(?), when say if the child’s grandparent’s raised them, or they grew up in an all white area, and that is all they know – those type of kids, maybe, can’t relate to you at all – to say the girls in the documentary aren’t hurt by all too is isn’t fair – to say there were no solutions – well,

    #1 – it was called LIGHT SKINNED GIRLS documentary – so … it WAS suppossed to be about their experience and feelings – not a political agenda, in so far as I am to understand it ……

    second, well they aren’t ‘there’ yet maybe, clearly then?

    They don’t understand – why? Because their parents want to protect them – they are their children, etc etc –

    Please re-read above until all this gets straightened out, or becomes more balanced – which ever – but PROMOTE YOURSELF in a positive light TOO – AS LINDA IS TELLING YOU – stop dragging and DRAGGING and dogging the light skinned girls like EVERY day.

    Please. Enough now, seriously. Or – address your posts to their parents. And tell the parents to tell the light skinned girls to deny their white families as if they are nothing to them; just so they won’t be ‘influenced’ by anything at all that their cousins or fathers or aunts or uncles, or what or who ever likes. Or who they are as people. And to not be kind to any family that was kind to them.

    Just tell the parents. Or the white people. If that makes sense.

    You can’t act supportive of inter-racial relationships and then dog the off spring everyday for being themselves.

    #Thank you Linda.

    I am in agreement with your entire post
    ________________________________________

    Linda January 28, 2015 at 4:24 pm – Reply
    Lady A,

    your constant posts denying that light-skinned women have negative experiences related to their light skin, make it appear that you are the one who enjoys being the victim. As long as you can play the “they’ve gotten all the breaks” card, you’ve assured yourself the same attention you accuse light-skinned women of pursuing. It just seems like you’re looking for someone to feel sorry for you and make you feel better about not being light-skinned. No one can do that but you, You might begin by honest, self-examination of why you feel so disenfranchised. Maybe it’s not your skin tone. Maybe it’s just you. After all, the world is full of brown and dark-skinned women who love themselves just the way they are, and are so happy and fulfilled in their own lives that they don’t see light-skinned women (or anyone for that matter) as having it better than they do.

  19. Tiffani 3 April, 2015 at 17:14 Reply

    I just had to comment on this article being a “lighter” skinned black woman. I grew up in a household where complexion was never mentioned because we were all different shades of brown. I grew up in a predominately white neighborhood so no matter how light I was I was still a nigga. The fact of the matter is that I experienced racism left and right because we were black period, it didn’t matter light or dark they treated us all the same. I did not here phrases like “red bone”, “white girl” or “light-skinned” until I went to a predominately black high school for half of my freshman year in high school. Unfortunately we are the ones who continue to keep the skin color thing alive. Unless you’re bi-racial looking you’re black to all white ppl so it really is us that keep the “light privilege” going in our neighborhoods. Let’s not pretend that we haven’t seen or heard someone say how “cute” a lighter child is knowing good and well they were funny looking?! People will overlook a beautiful brown baby to look at the one with light skin and eyes because we still continue to put them on a higher pedestal than our brown ones. We cannot continue to point the finger at the white ppl all of the time when we keep this foolishness going ourselves in our own homes.

  20. carissa 3 April, 2015 at 17:54 Reply

    I’m a light skin Black women and proud of it, proud to be a black woman period . I’m sorry that I am a product of a rape that may have happened centuries ago and some of you weren’t . I’m truly sorry our community makes you feel less than me because of your amount of melanin that I am lacking in. You are beautiful to me.with that said nobody is going to make me feel bad to be who I am. No white ppl or ppl in my own race. I am a proud black woman and you should be too.

  21. anonymous 17 April, 2015 at 05:18 Reply

    I don’t hear….how dark and brown skinned girls are looked down on,mistreated, etc…

    Exactly. When this topic is brought up, suddenly this little uncomfortable observation gets conveniently ommitted.

    As a dark skinned person, I personally do believe being lightskinned/ having lightskinned is a double edged sword-and I do feel like less colorist/ less pretentious lightskinned blacks do unfairly get lumped in with light skinned people that are the opposite. Which is part of the reason I do not dismiss the lightskin POV. My annoyances are the implied beliefs that “the things that dark skinned people face are kinda lightweight for the attention the issue gets,that a mountain is being made out of a molehill, that even the mention of shade disparities encourage disunity, and the idea that “everybody darkskin” addressing the issue suffers from permanent low self esteem or come from a place of mainly self serving motives/personal petty gripes, bitterness,jealousy/envy, and other hooey or that “everybody light skinned” that speaks out speaks out from a place of coddling darkskinned folks , proving “being down with the darkskinned brown” or other baseless nonsense when many people both light and darkskinned do this from a place of integrity, honesty, conviction, and realism more often than not. Nevermind that people don’t make these baseless claims as much for people both light and dark defending light skinned folks.

    Light skinned people are fighting for belonging and mattering.

    Dark skinned people are fighting for this in addition to being viewed as human by both black and white communities. Dark skinned folks are rejected for being too black. Honestly if lightskinned people are losing darkskinned people really are not winning!Lightskinned people “do not” have it easy but as bad as it is for them, it is harder more often than not for others.

    Limited acceptance by whites is balanced by suspicion by other blacks.

    Through it all, they are still on upper level of the pecking order in the black community or white community. They are innocent until proven guilty. They have better access to certain opportunities so things even themselves out in the bigger scheme of things. Dark skinned rejection by whites is paralled by black rejection(light/in-between/dark) of darkskinned folks-and with no cushions. Darkskinned folks are guilty until proven innocent.Where is the balance or the priviledge to even this scenario?

    I personally do not dismiss the experience and perspective of lightskinned people. I even can understand people taking some umbrage with the tone of the article however, for all the suffering, if there was a choice between choosing shade based on priviledge which one would be rejected. There in lies a case for the issue.

    Finally, I also feel a need to express that everybody who bring this up is not bitter, darkskinned, financially struggling females either. I also am not expecting pity from alot of you because I-don’t-know-you-like that. Thid is from a place of reality-and from a place that taking this issue will help other bad issues get improved in the long run! The author of this blog is more brownskinned than darkskinned anyway. Oh, I also feel compelled to make the observation that the comments by some of the defenders of lightskinned folks are just as callous as the article or responses to similar articles by this camp. I do think that the pro-dark skinned advocates probably could be more tactful but the tactful argument could be made for the other camp so it is a two way street.

    All this said, my objective in making these observation are not about pity. I am not waiting or expecting lightskinned folks to do anything I simply aim to defend the validity of the experiences of dark skinned folks. Just my two cents.

  22. Mary 28 May, 2015 at 03:00 Reply

    Your original article seems full of venom. Some of the comments have mocked light-skinned girls for claiming to have experienced colorism. Those writing the comments appear to be forgetting that the far dominant privilege is WHITE privilege, so OF COURSE light-skinned girls have suffered this too in addition to the hatred clearly directed at them from within the black community which has been illustrated by many of the preceding comments. The focus should be on acknowledging that ALL black women are beautiful and should feel so, not about negating one group’s experience and deciding that it is less valid than another’s – that’s what historians have been doing for centuries. On a final note – perhaps you should change your website name name to ‘Bougie dark-skinned girl’ as that’s clearly the only hue of the black community that you care for or want to represent as you have illustrated that you feel that the experiences of all others are invalid.

  23. Bobbi 22 June, 2015 at 20:11 Reply

    I’m light skinned black girl, and i do belive there is favoritism towards the light skin but, i never experience that. Before i went to a new school i went black schools and i never gotten favored outta all the students i was treated the same, hell i even got wrote for shit i even didn’t do, also in my family we don’t have flavor light skin ar all( good hair vs nappy but thats another story) but anyways i never felt favored over anybody. I do belive in the lsp and that black women of darker hue do get WORSE, but i thomk i never had that privilege before

  24. Arbret 19 July, 2015 at 21:16 Reply

    I am a dark skinned woman, some may label me brown skin, but i heard two women say that the category “brown skin” was created to differentiate between the dark complexions. So I thought that was some more bullshit, so I just decided to reference myself as dark skin, as Juliet said a rose by any other name………I never understood this. All of the woes that dark skinned women have, I don’t know why these things never happen to me. i was always called beautiful, even by Asian women who I always thought hated dark skin. I’m tired of dark skinned women being stupid, when will the rest of you realize that the light skin dark skin shit is a game and all black women (including the light skinned ones) have played it so long they believe this dumb shit. If you are a dark girl who has issues with her skin then go home and slit you wrists. I don’t want you to influence another generation of dark girls to think like you. If you are a grown dark female, you aint got no business with these same views. Also, stop lumping the pretty dark skin girls with your hang ups, I always thought I was the only dark skinned girl that felt this way but I’m not.

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