Monday, January 19, 2009
By Teaerra Webb, Courier Staff Writer
In Black America today, race is more than just an issue of black and white, but also differences between light skin and dark skin among the African American people. With the elevation of Barack Obama to President of the United States, we have gone beyond old boundaries and started to look at how we treat our own people related to differences between our own people's skin colors, which vary widely even though we are the same people ethnically.
Many people look at light skinned people as akin to the white race because of our lighter skin. We're still counted as black, but a different kind of black, as they say. Others believe that lighter skin results in better jobs and better shot at life because of the advantage of lighter skin. In Black America, others look at us as either white-washed or proper. When asked about her feeling on light skin and dark skin, Junior Abreisha Sledge, said, “ It is a typical stereotype that light skin is better. Also rappers promote light skinned woman”.
Usually the dark-skinned black people are portrayed as people who won't go anywhere in life. They are the people the slavemasters described as “apes”. The dark skinned are the people who can’t get jobs and always cause the trouble. The stereotype is that they are the people who never seem to know how to get it together. The dark skinned people are the kind who are nowhere near the white race in privilege and equality. Asked about her feeling about light skin and dark skin, junior Airiss Livingston, said, “ Dark skinned people get picked on more, because they say we're more ugly than the light skinned version”.
African-Americans are not the only ones burdened by these stereotypes. Asians, for example, also suffer from skin darkness prejudices. Many believe that light is right and light is better.
I believe light skin and dark skin are both beautiful. No one is superior or inferior to the other; they’re equal.
This color thing goes way back to the slavery times, at least, when the light skinned people had better jobs than the dark skinned people. As the light skinned people worked out of the sun and weather in the house, dark skinned people worked outside in the fields in bad conditions, getting darker. It is still reflected in today’s society. For example, if a light skinned and darker person walked through a store together, it’s more likely for a dark skinned person to get followed around because this person is "black."
We should treat each other with respect, especially if we are the same race.
We have enough prejudice hurled toward us as African-Americans and we're making it even worse by putting racism on each other. We need to learn to love who we are and other people, too.
There are different kind of blacks, some light skinned, some with darker skin, some big, some small, some thin and some tall. We need to learn to love that!