The concept of discrimination and colorism has become a prevalent topic for many people in today’s generation. Young African-American men and women are constantly targeting the plight of skin color and how today’s society is trying to uphold the standards of privilege and self-hatred among groups of people. It is obvious that in today’s society, people are so caught with personal aesthetic and social positions, than actually embracing their own features, cultures and talents. In October, I wrote an important post on America’s views of identity and race, in which I touched on the problematic issues of American society, often immersing in topics concerning the biological composition of a person and making assumptions based on one’s class background.
Personally, I have come across several people and media platforms, which target the problem of colorism in today’s society and just how disturbingly obvious Black society has become perplexed about the ‘dark-skin and ‘light-skin’ phenomenon. There are some who feel as though light-skinned Blacks have often been more appreciated in the western world, just by the color of their skin. The loathing of what occurred during the destructive and horrific events in American slavery always creeps into the discussion (i.e. the ‘house’ negro vs. the ‘field’ negro). However, I would like to go beyond the simple generalizations about internalized racism and observe deeply into just how this destructive system has truly plagued the black community.
While it is clear that many people have used their biological composition to compensate for the self-hatred they uphold, as an ethnic group, we must realize that we don’t derive from a monolithic background. Our identities and experiences certainly aren’t the same, so why are we so desperate to look at the black experience from one perspective? Furthermore, do we even realize that the system of racism has already negatively impacted us in several ways?
A year ago, I captured my family during the Thanksgiving holiday and it was quite interesting to uncover the feelings several family members felt when it came to colorism in America today. It goes beyond skin color, identity, societal class, and the preconceived notions people have about a particular person. Colorism has also affected our judicial system as well. In the video below, I wanted to exemplify all of the frustrations and deeply-rooted problems that are commonly related to colorism and hopefully make these issues aware, as well as pushing for people to ‘break the color dilemma.’ It is deeper than what we see.