Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Lightskin is the right skin..." and other lies they tell you...

Recently I was having a conversation with a few people and I said something in regards to a "lightskin
struggle". I was joking but one individual in the group (a darker skinned Black American) laughed and said "Lightskin people struggle? Y'all don't have a struggle..." NOW. While I was joking in this particular conversation I wanted to let this person know that ALL Black Americans (or African Americans, whatever you choose) go through a struggle because they are not white. My light skin DOES NOT make me immune to racial slurs from whites. My light skin DOES make me a target in certain darker Blacks minds and, as a result, I am often times chided and picked on for being fair. As a child I grew up with the "white girl", "cornbread", "yellow hoe" insults. I have been called a "nigger" by whites. I have dealt with racism due to my complexion from both sides. I do NOT feel my pain is bigger than anyone else's but for anyone to discredit what I have gone through because I'm lighter is upsetting.

We do not choose the skin we are born in. My lightness has never defied my Blackness. Both of my parents are black. I am black. I don't claim anything else and to make fun of me because I'm physically not as black as the next person just shows your ignorance on the slave trade and why Black Americans come in a rainbow of brown hues. I will admit I have issues with my complexion. I always have, and I own that. The piece below I wrote Monday morning (even before someone called me a "have breed" *SIC* who "hated her own race" on twitter...mind you, the race I supposedly hate is the black race. When our convo was on reading, they made it about race. See how that happens...but I don't struggle being light...). I will not pretend to know how darker skinned blacks feel or what they go through, but my struggle is real. We all struggle. We are all in this together.

Complex Complexions…

Don’t let this light skin fool you
Through my veins runs the blood of a million slaves
The ancestors of those who contributed to my fairness are the ones who stole and enslaved the people that contributed to my blackness
My hair, my eyes, my nose, my lips, my smile, my demeanor are all compliments of the Africans brought to America over 300 years ago
And my lightness or whiteness is only a result of the rape of my grandfather’s grandmother’s mother, and her mother, and her sisters and their children…
This heart beats to the sound of Congo drums played in memory of those who didn't make it on the Middle Passage
My soul cries for the culture that was taken from us
And in my dreams I see the ancestors.
I pray for them.
My complexion is not a badge of honor that I wear but a constant reminder of the pain my people suffered.
I don’t take pride in being more acceptable to whites because my skin is fairer
I wear my hair natural and unkempt as a nod to those came before me and try to hold on to as much as their identity as I can.
No our struggles aren’t alike but I never thought I was better than you because my family was raped into lightness.
We all suffered. We all continue to suffer.
Our pain may not be similar but it’s real. And before I am judged for trying to be TOO black let me remind you.
I am black. Both of my parents are black. And their parents are black.
And this fair skin you see…it’s a result of a time when blacks were seen as nothing but property.

Don’t let this light skin fool you. I stand beside you in the struggle. 

EDIT 8/27/2014: I had to add the *SIC* because FYI...the ignorant person who tried to call me a "half breed" actually said "HAVE breed".

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

5 Minute Blogs: "The End of the World..."

 So I'm currently looking at this movie called "Looking for a Friend For the End of the World". I   randomly happened upon it while trying to figure out what I was going to eat for dinner. For those who haven't seen the film, it's a quite simple premise. The world is ending in three weeks and the main character, Dodge, is dumped by his wife. She just straight bounces (later on it's kinda discovered why but I wont' spoil this movie). Anyway everyone is trying to figure out what they are going to do...and Dodge is basically looking for a friend to spend his final days with. His wish is so simple.

As I'm watching the movie I'm wondering what would I do....where would I do...who'd I'd spend it with...

The concept of the world ending is so foreign to most but it's a real possibility. The universe is so vast and infinite that in a blink of an eye everything can change. Life is that way...nothing is guaranteed.

So while I'm sitting here listing things I'd do...

  • Visit my family
  • Tell that boy I'm in love with him (i'm such a hopeless romantic...)
  • Ride the biggest roller coaster
  • Visit Easter Island (it would have to be cheaper to go now since nothing matters...)
  • Jump out of an airplane  
  • Shave off all my hair just to see how I'd look 
  • Eat ALL of the food 
And as I list things I realize it's nothing out there like in the movie (having wild unprotected sex with everyone and anyone...) because that's just not me. I suddenly realize that nothing is stopping me from doing list is doable now while I'm alive.  I basically made a bucket list. LMAO. I mean granted, I'd probably loot and steal some things because hey...who wouldn't want to die in a fierce ass Gucci Dress and some Louboutin shoes. But the way I'd want to spend my last days are the ways I wish I'd live my life now...and its like "Why Wait?"

Why do we ever wait on anything? Why do we wait too late? Why don't we take control of this very moment and live out our dreams no matter how big or small and if we fail...who cares. We can move onto the next thing and be great.  Randomly I have moments when I wonder what if....the last time I did what I longed for I moved to NYC. And while it hasn't been perfect, it has been beyond worth it. 

I want to learn in this moment and to fulfill my dreams. 
It's crazy how such a simple comedic film sparked so much in me.

Anyway the movie:

And the song that always triggers something in me: