On 22 September 2010, I wrote a Blog here titled ‘When was your first time?‘ …. when you were first aware of your colour, mostly being black.
I was 8 when I was first told I was pretty for a dark black girl. Now we have this in The Guardian
It hurts to think that we still are considered in shades of black, outside our race and within.
It pains to think that the expectation of a successful man is that he has a light skinned partner
It particularly hits home at a time when I am trying to launch a brand for all shades of black and being told by retailers it is not needed as women of colour do not ask for it.
The thing about the article in the Guardian is that is littered with examples we have heard over and over again. We have all heard about the experiments where children think the light skinned child is brighter. The skin lightning, the pros and cons of natural hair, relaxed hair and weaves. We keep rehashing this but the documentary shows that we do not seem to be getting anywhere.
The best point in this article is the one where we have to stop using excuses that the media portrays, so we feel that about ourselves. I live in the UK, I am dark black, I have had natural hair, relaxed hair and a weave. I wake up every morning and not really cared about how anyone might think of me due to those things. Actually I lie.. I do worry when I have a weave mostly that other black women will have negative thoughts about me but that lasts all of a minute, particularly after it takes me less time to style my hair (or not as the case may be!) and I can get out of the door quicker!
I have also been very honest that growing up in West Africa in my formative year may have something to do with it. I never had to think about my colour apart from the one stupid comment at 8. So I do not share the same history as many black women born in the West particularly in the US.
However, I have brought up a dark black beautiful daughter in the UK who is exactly like me about her colour and hair. So it can be done, it is not easy but it can be. It is how it is. History happened. Media will always be here with different influences. We need to teach our children to move away from these prejudices and how to deal with them in a positive way when they do come across them. We cannot afford to keep reading the same old stories about black women year in, year out.We individually can make a difference, we do not need a round table or a think tank for this.
So in black history month I am going to focus on the positive stories of the dark black woman and make sure everyone I come in contact with hears these stories.
At beingU, on our website (www.beingu.me) it is the month of our colour Yam so we are celebrating all women who are that skin tone.
My first target is Ida Horner an inspirational black African who is the reason we are here on this blog and one of the first people I spoke to about my lingerie idea. Please take a minute to pop over to idahorner.com to take part in our survey
What are you going to do?