The Color Complex

I went to Barnes and Noble on saturday and picked up a book titled ” The color Complex”, the politics of skin color among african americans.  The book basically researches about the self hate black have against blacks when it comes to the differences in the color of our skin. The book documents how and why racism due to color of skin came about. After reading this book, I feel off.  I knew black people had problems with color but I never knew how much deep it went.  This is one of the reasons why I love to read.  I picked up this book randomly but I have new information now comfortably sitting in my mind.  What I learned is that the light-skinned black people were during slave times brainwashed to believe they were better therefore making dark-skinned people feel completely inferior.

In this day and age , some light-skinned black people still feel the need to prove they are black. This self hate from slave days should not be part of us now. I know we still have older generations still around who have old ways of thinking but black people have enough issues without keeping color issues to be part of them.

Even though I am light-skinned, I never felt  I was better than dark-skinned black people. I always felt comfortable with being black. I can not help my genetics. Who knew I would come out this way. My mom did not raise me to look at different skin colors and be against them. I like to get to know people before I make a judgement call. Color of your skin is something no one has true control over so to really not like someone over it is extremely ignorant.

The book is actually a pretty solid read and I am actually glad to have it in my personal library.

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2 thoughts on “The Color Complex

  1. I’m African American and I have read color complex and it is truthful and informative it touches on a subject that has affected and continues to affect American Blacks. When I was a young girl I remember saying to my paternal grandmother someday I want to marry a Doctor or Lawyer she looked sternly at me and said” Oh no you won’t! those kind of men want to marry Light skinned black girls they want somebody they can show off and be proud of!” My grandmother left a deep impression in my mind I never forgot what she said. The times that I was living in didn’t help either because that was the general thinking among blacks in my region. It was the lighter skinned blacks who were favored and prized and if you were a light skinned girl you were besieged by young black men. At school lighter skinned black students were always asked to join clubs they never had to seek out company they received top treatment. I remember during my junior high school years a lighter skinned black girl who got into a near hand fight one afternoon after school, the girl who wanted to fight her was dark skinned , when the news got around a small group of black boys intervened and start pushing and shoving the darker girl away and threatened to beat her if she didn’t leave the other girl alone. I stood and watched in amazement and thought how many dark skinned girls had to battle through school alone and never had anyone to help them through in the face of aggression. I remember at our eighth grade graduation dance, a lighter skinned girl was sitting at our table all the boys kept coming and asking her to dance while the rest of us were overlooked completely because of our brown and dark complexions. This cream colored girl was well liked by all of us and she did have a sweet personality , she turned down all the dance requests by lying and telling each boy who asked her to dance that her feet hurt. She didn’t like the idea that we were being over looked and chose to remain seated at our table.I could touch on so many stories about growing up and witnessing incidents during an time in our Black history when the color complex was strong. It would take too much time but I will make this final note what saved me was the” Black Consciousness” movement that sparked Black Pride among American Blacks . In my community James Brown’s song ” Say it loud I’m Black and I’m proud!” became our anthem song and the great Black poets, novelists and scholars tried to encourage us all to be proud of our African Heritage that included just be proud of your color and physical feature because being black is really a” beautiful thing”. I gained inner strength to go on in the face of bias and ignorance. The color complex is still a problem in the current early 21th century and you would be surprised to hear all the stories about how black women and men still have to endure with color discrimination. I think Black parents should take the time to sit down with their children and share books on black history with them and explain to them the origins of this problem and teach them to respect other black people by not belittling them about skin hues or having full African features. If we do this maybe someday The Color Complex among African Americans will vanish.

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