The Colour Complex

Colourism: prejudice or discrimination in which people are treated differently based on the social meanings attached to skin colour.

Well before slavery, terms such as “darkness” and “black” had negative connotations. In a lot of stories and legends these terms were synonymous with evil. Slavery reinforced those beliefs since slaves with fairer skin tones had a better treatment compared to slaves with darker skin tones. Light-skin slaves tended to work indoors, doing the easier tasks. Dark-skin slaves used to stay outdoors doing the more difficult tasks.

This perception is still ingrained in our society. Brands taking advantage of this and making financial gains by promoting skin bleaching (*cough**cough*Nivea).

Even on social media, the amount of nonsense I have seen is just ridiculous and a lot is coming from us. “This is how light skin n***a” …; #darskin***asbelike…, “you’d be so beautiful if you were lighter” …TRASH, TRASH and TRASH.

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When you hear older generations saying about babies: “He’s so cute! Hope he’s going to keep his light skin” in the fear that the kid might become a little darker?! The worst thing is that this thinking is passed on from generation to generation. I do not have kids yet but I’ll make it my mission to make sure they love themselves regardless of their skin tone.

I am not saying that you should not embrace your skin tone. My point is you do not need to do it at the expense of another one. Black comes in so many different shades and we need to stop feeding into this nonsense.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

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