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STILL COLOR STRUCK

Are Sistas Being Locked Out Of The Love Game?

by William July, II

Ed. Note:  Former NBA Player Gilbert Arenas once made the statement publicly, that dark-skinned black women aren’t pretty.  For some, he spoke what is often thought to be the sentiment of too many black men. More black men are crossing the color line to find romance.   Is it because too many still rank their preference for beauty on how close a woman is to look white?

            “I like my woman light, bright and damn near white,” he said.  Here we are in the 21st Century and some black folks are still color struck.  I wouldn’t have believed the statement mentioned above was made recently if I hadn’t heard it with my own ears.  These are the words of a successful black man with high standing in the community.   It’s obvious his thinking is infected.  But unfortunately, he’s not alone.

            The color phobia of our race still extends itself into an ignorant self-hating social system with the darkest of the dark at the bottom and the most white in appearance at the top.  Many blacks would like to pretend that this mentality died out decades ago, but it didn’t.

            For some, our bodies may be free, but our minds are still shackled as long as we hold on to the ignorance of being color struck.  Many of us claim to be so full of black pride and Afrocentric.  We display African artwork on our walls, but for many blacks that is more smokescreen than truth.

            Too many black men rank their preferences of beauty on how close a woman is to looking white.  In their backward mentality, the half-white biracial bombshell is automatically the queen of black beauty simply because she’s half white.  She can claim beauty queen rights, as long as she is half anything other than black.

            Aggravating the situation is how these men feed this ignorance by exclusively seeking out the lightest, brightest woman they can find.  She doesn’t need an education, money, or talent for the light skin that can be her ticket to his heart and bank account.  Ironically, those brothers don’t want a white woman.  They’re too “down with the cause” to cross the line (and not come back at least).  But they want a black woman who looks white.  They fall to their knees every night begging God for a Vanessa Williams or a Halle Berry type to walk into their lives.

            It’s understandable why darker-toned women sometimes get on the defensive about their looks in our society because beauty is defined largely by likeliness to whiteness.  Though it’s contrary to our nature, many blacks have adopted that standard.  Therefore, many blacks have a backward standard of beauty when examined in the context of their own race.  It’s no small wonder that we find many black women who desire to have attributes that aren’t natural to them.  Some black women try to change their eyes, bodies, and even their actual skin color to be acceptable by a standard of beauty that is not designed for them.

            I remember the words of a woman I was dating once.  After much primping in the mirror, she said with confidence, “I think I’m pretty for a dark girl.”  I cringed but understood her painful statement.  She meant that in spite of her dark skin, she still managed to correct her looks to make herself somewhat pretty.

            Dark women, you are beautiful!  There’s nothing wrong with your skin or features.  The politics of skin color is an infection in the minds of black America and white America.  It is ignorance and self-hatred disguised so well that we can’t see it.  Remember, “black is beautiful.  Dark skin is powerful, alluring and mysterious.  Dark women are the objects of fable and fantasy for men of all races.  They possess the powerful aura of dark skin.  Sexual myths aside, it is the dark skin that creates their alluring and sensuous glow.  Don’t allow the ignorance of others to define your beauty.

            Light skinned women, you are beautiful!  You’ve endured the arrows from both sides of the battle.  On one side, you’re besieged by those who hail you as the queen of black beauty simply because of your skin.  On the other side, you are despised by some people with darker skin and accused of thinking you’re better than everyone else.  But your skin and features are just as black and just as beautiful.  Don’t allow the ignorance of others to define your beauty.  True beauty is something that radiates from interiors of the soul, not off the surface of the skin.

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