Fri | May 24, 2019

Give light-skinned black folk a break

Published:Tuesday | October 9, 2018 | 12:04 AM


By means of the universal definition for blackness (i.e., having at the least amount of detectable blackness regardless of an abundance of white features), I am responding to my revered teacher, Professor Carolyn Cooper's, position in her Sunday Gleaner column titled 'Black man + brown woman = perfect match?' published in the October 7, 2018, edition.

Brown women and light-skinned women are black women. Correction, please, Professor Cooper. It is black people who are in those ads. It goes without saying that light-skinned people and brown-skinned people are black people.

Sometimes people with darker skin make people with lighter/brown skin feel uncomfortable by this kind of discussion. These lighter-skinned brown-black people cannot do anything about their skin, you know. Lighter-skinned brown-black people are a constant reminder of the shameful fact that a white man may have raped a black woman, or vice versa. Or in the case of some oral family history, a black great-grandmother slept with her white employer or employee to gain some favour for her black, brown or light-skinned child/ren? Private entertainment became public shame instead of remaining a private and pleasurable transaction.

To add insult to injury, light-skinned black people can't do anything about darker-skinned people who continue to prefer them. Sometimes a light-skinned black person chooses a darker-hued partner to gain acceptance by black people, only to be viewed with resentment, suspicion, malice and spite. Are light-skinned brown-black people not worthy of black love, too? Can't they get the chance to dilute the white milk in their coffee?

Give them a break! In earlier years, they had to endure derogatory labels like 'red igbo', 'mango s**t', 'mulatta', 'quaw', 'half-caste' and other derogatory. Is this racism of black against black? Allow light-skinned brown-black people to carry the shame of the races in peace.