By now most of us have seen or heard of the much anticipated documentary Dark Girls that aired on the OWN Sunday evening repeating last night. I sat through it and I have to admit it was a bit painful to watch. I could have written most of that script. I was terrorized during my school years I was a dark skinned girl. I survived but the abuse was real. The abuse is real because it is still happening today as so profoundly profiled in the documentary.
I have been told to get over it or to let that stuff stay in the past. Well, there really is nothing for me to get over. I said that I am a survivor of this particular brand of terrorism. I faced and confronted colorism. It took a while because the abuse had devastating effects on me into adulthood. I resent others who don’t understand and want to diminish our feelings as if they are insignificant. I have matured over time and grew to appreciate my skin color and I am not bitter.
But I am extremely disturbed that colorism is still so prevalent in black communities. It is the black community’s biggest open secret. I say we continue to out it and bring about awareness for the individual. Keep talking about it and care not who it makes uncomfortable. People will always be in denial that colorism happened or affected them. Then I know a few who did not suffer from skin shade racism because their parents instilled a sense of pride, dignity, beauty and love. Obviously this did not happen in every home on this level or we would not have the problem still plaguing us after all these centuries. What a strong holdover from slavery; but we don’t have to let define who we are, how we perceive ourselves or allow others place us in little boxes. Rise above it and move on. You may have to tell a few people off now and then, but you can get passed it. Be beautiful, be yourself. We owe it to ourselves and to the our daughters coming up now. We have to do better. Just think if the beautiful little girl (and images like her) in this AT&T commercial were ubiquitous when many of us were growing up. It may have changed the widespread practice.