My mom is a victim of it. I am too.
Mom, who is a deep chocolate brown, will NOT go outside on a hot sunny day without a hat. Or long sleeves. Oh! an don’t forget the sunscreen. Not because she’s afraid breaking out with skin cancer, but because she doesn’t want to get darker.
“People notice when I get blacker,” she told me once. Seeking to diversify her portfolio, she is looking into buying stock in AMBI. (fine! I made that last part up, but she uses that goop with the same zeal she watches Eddie Long on the TEE VEE.)
She has always been told by folks in our own family that she was ugly and too dark. My father’s side of the family, who leans toward the lighter side of the spectrum, questioned my father outright why on earth would he marry her. “You want dark babies?”
When I was born, a relative, who is now deceased, told my mother shortly after I was born that I wasn’t a cute baby because I was dark too.
Needless to say, all that dark hate rubbed off on both me and Mom.
I have a friend, JC Davies, who recently wrote and self-published an interrcial dating book, I Got The Fever: Love, What’s Race Gotta Do With It?” (Doublewide Publications) She’s a tell it like it T-I-IS white female New Yorker. She told me straight out. “I don’t get this whole light skin/dark skin thing. Funny too, because white people look at all black people as just as BLACK, regardless of shade.”
Asked the hubster, who’s melanin challenged, and he co-signed.
I’m going to get into this a lot more on a colorism series I’m starting in October for Madame Noire.