As of late, we girls at C3 have begun to touch base on the topic of light vs. dark, not only because it is somewhat of a touchy subject within the Black community, but because it applies to each of us individually. We have decided that we will be sharing our own real world experiences on the subject as well as our individual opinions on the matter.
Growing up as a black geek was an experience that was difficult enough for one girl to handle. However, I also had another challenge to face pretty much everyday of my adolescent life: Being mixed. I didn’t seem to fit in with any group. The black children I went to school with treated me differently (as did the white children, but that’s a whole other story!) and I wasn’t exactly sure why until later in life. One day, a black classmate of mine in middle school brought up an interesting argument: Light-skinned blacks have an upper hand in society in comparison to dark-skinned blacks.
Initially, the statement did upset me mainly because at this point in my life, I never noticed ever getting any sort of advantage or special treatment, anymore than a dark-skinned person would have. As a matter of fact, I was probably one of the biggest outcasts in every school I’d ever been to and I was in no way “more privileged” in life, as my family and I were living under the poverty level. I knew right off the bat that there was something more to that statement, but I wasn’t willing to give it any validation based off of my life experiences.
I know that everyone’s life experiences are different, but from what I have been through in my life, black is black last I checked. and unless you are a different ethnicity all together (ie. Caucasian etc.) if you are of African descent, you’re skin will be considerably darker than a Caucasian for example. For there to be a hierarchy of skin shades in the black community is just a ridiculous concept to me, it’s pretty much laughable. Even though my skin complexion may be lighter than the next black person’s, when compared to someone of an even lighter complexion, I am still considered “dark” in contrast.
What I’m trying to say is we should all just be happy with the skin tone god gave us. Black people come in many different shades, a minor difference in skin tone should not be another dividing factor within our community.