Yesterday afternoon, my bestfriend and I were talking about a viral Tik Tok video about a black woman in the US recollecting an unpleasant experience where she was allegedly called a ‘darkie’ by a famous R&B singer and this singer went as far as saying to her ‘no darkies were allowed in the club’ and had her escorted out while her 3 female friends (2 light-skin and 1 white) were allowed to enter.
I empathize, I empathize, I empathize, why? Because I’m a dark skin girl and I’ve had similar encounters!
In the Caribbean, racism exist but it’s not as profuse as in the US and other countries, however, its sibling colourism is here in abundance sis and for a black girl like me growing up, I always felt less-than-stellar because of my chocolate complexion. Now, let me briefly define colourism for those who might not know what I’m talking about:
differential treatment based on skin color, especially favoritism toward those with a lighter skin tone and mistreatment or exclusion of those with a darker skin tone, typically among those of the same racial group or ethnicity.Definition of colourism via dictionary.com
In primary school (Jamaica), if you were dark skin and got into a verbal argument with someone, they would immediately compare you to a ‘black johncrow’ which is a vulture in Standard English and this would hurt your feelings because a johncrow was the worst comparison during that period in time. As time passed, the insults got worse and with society’s standard of beauty favouring a certain ‘racial group’, us dark skin girls had to thicken our skins against the verbal blows and attempt to learn self-love despite the clear adversities we were up against.
Imagine you are facing racism from a different ethnic group/groups while dealing with colourism from your own ethnicity; F R U S T R A T I N G! I don’t ever want to hear “you are cute for a black girl” because the day I hear that, best believe I’m punching the person who had the audacity to say it right in the mouth. If after reading that sentence and your immediate thought is she’s an aggressive black girl then punch yourself por favor and save me the trouble.
It’s insulting to tell someone like me, I’m pretty for a black girl because you are insinuating that dark skin girls aren’t very pretty and there is only a small portion of us that are physically appealing, which isn’t true. You can give someone a compliment without emphasising their colour and you don’t need to bash someone’s colour or race because you don’t find them attractive; to each their own and if that’s not your cup of tea then please don’t throw that cup off the table, just find your cup and be on your way.
It’s 2021 and some progress is being made, we are seeing more representation especially in the US and that’s something I’m happy to see, I’m hoping it will trickle down to the Caribbean islands cause colourism and xenophobia is real down here! This isn’t a rant or built-up anger, the viral video just gave me food for thought and I wanted to write something surrounding it.
Ignorance is blissThomas Gray
I think the better educated and more understanding you are on an issue, the easier it is for you to see why it was an issue in the first place. I don’t know everything but I try to educate myself and I aim to understand and never come off as narrowminded because ignorance is really bliss. I hope the R&B singer reaches out to the Tik Toker and offers a sincere apology because I do believe people can change and the best way to right a wrong is to apologise from the heart.
Thanks for reading, sincerely,
A Proud Black Girl 🌺💞