Blacker The Berry: Being Dark Skin In America

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Harlye Daviz
Harlye Daviz
Harlye Daviz born in Philadelphia, Pa. I have a degree in Creative Journalism. I write about self-expression, inner beauty, and sexism. Welcome to my creative mind.

Throughout African-American history, dark skin blacks have been treated differently from lighter skin blacks.

I’m an old soul. My favorite “empowerment” song is by the late James Brown, Say it loud. I’m black and I’m proud. Being Dark Skin in America is not an easy as one might assume.

When I have the urge to give my black brothas recognition and gratitude India 2 Skin song travels through my earbuds.

Naturally Beautiful Dark SkinAh, I am proud to be black. It’s an honor to wear this brown skin I was given out of love. I am a Beautiful mahogany woman. I embrace our race as a whole because of its diversity; we are created in all shades. White women would kill to have a permanent tan.

With all of my praises, it becomes irksome when I still hear crude and disrespectful remarks in regard to black women’s skin complexion.

My Twitter timeline will have some idiot tweeting “I’m only fucking with light-skinned chicks this year” or when a guy will say “yeah, she is cute…for a dark-skinned girl”.

I still don’t know what the hell that means. But I know it doesn’t make me feel good, and I may not be as dark as a dark-skinned girl he’s referring to, but I sure know how it feels to be disregard when the presence of a light-skinned, black woman.

I was a victim of falling for a high school basketball player who may have given me the time of day if I were a tad bit lighter (and I’m not exaggerating, he was keen on light-skinned black girls or white girls).

Most of my family on my father’s side is dark skin. They are successful; they love; they are beautiful.  I still remember the names we were called during summer with our tans which we thought were hideous after our encounters with other black people: “crispy” or sayings like “You black as shit”.

Recommended: The African American Teenager’s Complete Beauty Guide

Black America, we live in a world filled with diversity. We reside all over the globe in many places; with many different shades.  It’s difficult for us, as a race, to proceed with future goals and aspirations when others try to deter us from them because of our skin complexion.

It is especially difficult for us black women, especially of darker complexion to remain secure and express confidence when we fall victim to “Black on Black” discrimination.

It may be difficult for women of darker complexion to feel at ease about their skin tones when celebrities lionize black women of lighter skin complexion. Lil Wayne gloats about his love for “long hair, thick redbone” or Chris Brown and how he has ‘yellow’ everything, including “yellow model chicks”.

It’s unfortunate that women of darker complexion sometimes are disregarded, especially by their counterparts.

My best friend, growing up, was light-skinned. I adored her because she was like an older sister to me; I followed her like a puppy. Throughout our years of friendship, It was reiterated by black boys, that “my light-skinned” friend looked better.

Naturally Beautiful Dark Skin

It was definitely the period of my life when I was insecure and vulnerable, and yet, my best friend did not assure me of my beauty; even if she didn’t think I was beautiful, it would have been nice to have that emotional support from another black woman.

On the flip side, during college, I met my best friend; she is also light-skinned (FYI, I don’t have a preference; it’s just a coincidence that my BFFs are light-skinned), but I never met a woman (besides me mother) in my life who made me feel beautiful.

She helped me reconstruct my confidence. She expressed to me every day how beautiful she thought I was, and I believed her. Black people should encourage and empower one another.

I am self-affirmed now, because of another black woman. Thanks, Shoniqua!

BUT, we cannot solely blame the ignorance on our generation (though the cycle should have been broken centuries ago), throughout history, there had a conflict between African Americans and it’s starting to become a little redundant.

Author Mary, from theracismview, wrote: “Historically, African Americans with lighter skin have contributed to colorism because they have benefited from the privilege of having skin color closer to that of white and have embraced the notion that privilege comes with having light skin in America.”

Recommended: African American Women’s Activism in the Beauty Industry

I recently went to Miami with my cousin, and we had a blast! The sun beamed on us the whole seven days we were there; it was no escaping it! Though we soaked our bodies in sunscreen, we were still colored by the sun’s UV rays.

I didn’t mind; I loved my dark skin and how it glowed in the sun. I did nothing but snap pictures; I wore my dark skin with pride. I haven’t felt that confident in a while. My pearly whites and my chocolate skin made me feel sexy! You could not make me think any differently!

There were local, black teenagers who parked behind me in the sand on the beach, and one girl exclaimed, “Why did we have to come to the beach!? I don’t want to get any darker! Let’s sit in the shade.” The poor girl obviously does not pay attention in school, otherwise, she would have known UV rays are still potent in the shade…yes; you’re getting cooked, either way, baby girl!

Why must we promote discrimination and prejudice amongst our own kind? We as a culture; as a race; are giving other races examples as to why we are labeled as “ignorant” and why they believe we have animalistic traits. When they see us in different shades, they still see “black person”. They discriminate against all of us! We are all niggas to them.

I see so many videos and documentaries of women whose self-esteem is non-existent because of the way they were taunted or ignored because of their skin complexion. There had been many incidents of skin bleaching to become lighter amongst young, black women. What will be the next extreme?

When will this battle of skin complexions stop?

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