Colorism In the Black Community

For centuries, people of color have faced discrimination due to the complexion of their skin by Caucasians along with other races. It is bad enough that the discrimination against black people comes from outside of their race, and it’s even worse that it comes from within their race as well. Colorism has separated the black community tremendously, especially during the enslavement of black people. It has always been seen as good to be of lighter skin compared to having a darker complexion. During slavery, those who were considered “light skin” were house slaves and they were kept inside while those who were “dark skin” worked out in the fields. That separation among black people has led society to truly believe that having lighter skin is ideal and is more widely accepted than having darker skin.

It is shown all throughout society to this day that people with lighter skin complexions are more accepted. People with lighter skin have an extra key to the doors of success in white America because anything or anyone “too black” is dangerous and corrupt. The stereotypes that exist within the black community about this so-called battle between dark skins and light skins is exactly what was wanted by our oppressors. William Lynch, a British slave owner, wrote a letter called the Willie Lynch Letter that explains how to keep black people oppressed physically and mentally. The term “lynching” came from his name as well. In the letter, Lynch even talks about separating black people by their skin tone, stating that “You must use the DARK skin slaves vs. the LIGHT skin slaves, and the LIGHT skin slaves vs. the DARK skin slaves”. Many of the points Lynch made in his letter are still relevant today, showing how effective his method of destroying the entire race of black people from within and how the mindset of those outside of our community view us. If that is how they want to separate us, why give them the satisfaction and destroy our unity further?

We as a community need to unite and stop separating and defining ourselves by our skin complexion. Being light does not make you better looking or sensitive, and being dark does not make you ugly or aggressive. We are still programmed to think like slaves, and the time has come to rise up and come together.