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Black Like Me; Colorism & Anti-Blackness from Black People It's Not The Media It's All of You

The blame game is really starting to get lame

By IwriteMywrongsPublished 28 days ago 6 min read
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Friday, 24 May 2024

By: TB Obwoge

"Kenyans, they're all dark, black and ugly!" I will never in my life forget this, the man who said it and that this was being said to me in Accra, Ghana.

Ghana was a harsh lesson for me actually, because never had I known that so many Black Africans can hate so many other Black Africans and Black Americans. Black on black crime, I heard that more than once living in Ghana too, they must think they're crime isn't black on black. I laugh now but it was very annoying then.

They call people darky and blackie in Ghana too, their own daker skin people, they mock dark skin, how insane.

These darker skinned Ghanaians that continue to allow people to call themselves this are too blame, say something! tell them to stop it.

I've written about my HELL in Ghana for being 'othered' and not considered Black because of my skin shade. I'm not biracial, I am Black and in Ghana, unlike in Kenya, Ghanaians openly think calling you white is polite. Even though I'm not even white, Ghanaians were the only Africans that wanted to 'teach me' why I am not Black.

Imagine that? Africans in Ghana (ranked 137th in education out of 167 countries), want to teach me why I'm white and not Black. As if they are the experta on what my DNA and ethnicity is. Most of the people think DNA is only used to determine who you father is.

In this article from South Africa, titled 'Too Black And Not Black Enough' this is how lighter skinned people are treated from the Black community.

I’ve also experienced discrimination in the Black community for being too light. People automatically assume your achievements are because of your fairer skin without realising how much work you’ve put in. While colourism does often shape who gets what opportunities — hurting dark-skinned Black girls and women in particular — constantly hearing you only achieved success because you’re lighter can mentally break a person. We can do more to better understand each other’s experiences.

I hate that my friends argue about which skin tones are better. Each one of those irrelevant and divisive conversations leaves a scar in my heart. I feel like we as Black girls should encourage and support each other at every opportunity. The more we discriminate against each other based on how light or dark we are, the less likely we are to succeed in fighting racism outside of our communities.

In the case of this beauty pageant, I felt like it could have included young Black women of all skin tones while still creating a space to discuss colourism. The pageant could have made sure that everyone felt accepted and had a platform to speak out on the issues affecting them — from colourism and racism to climate change and gender discrimination. The more our society creates programmes excluding certain skin tones, the more it causes division and limits our voices.

If you have ever been told you’re not light or dark enough, I hope you know that that person was mistaken. You don’t have to be anything but exactly the way you are. Let's appreciate and embrace each other while challenging those who discriminate and divide us based on skin tone. We may come in different shades but think of the things we could do together. The more we unite, the better we will be able to build a fairer future for the next generation of young Black women.

Source Assembly.Malala.Org

In not only African countries, am I seen as not dark enough, even in America my sister as been mistaken for being white by other Black Americans. Once she went out with her darker skinned husband and a group of Black women shouted jungle fever. It was a reference Spike Lee's 1991 movie about a Black man that had an affair and later left his Black wife for a white woman.

This is how the Black community handles things from time to time because of the othering of those with light skin.

At this current time Black people, especially Black women are out here stanning for Meghan Markle who seems to have never really identified with being a Black woman until the royal racists got hold of her. Now all of a sudden this biracial woman is supposed to be "light skin" and the face of Black women, how? Or better yet why?

Why do all light skin Black people have to be lumped in with the biracial people? Once again as if were and our Black parents aren't enough, we have to share space with biracial people and be set aside from being Black people.

In Africa forget about the majority of the people you encounter accepting you as a Black person, I know I won't ever be accepted by most of the Africans that see me.

In this cover photo, this is an interview with on social media with the Vice President of Colombia Francia Márquez Mina. In her interview she's speaking about colorism and says something to the effect that Black people are fed that Black is ugly.

I honestly think it is time to let that go, no one should continue to get the blame while you have Africans like the ones I encountered everyday in Accra and other parts of the country. My skin color was used against me whereever I went, no matter what, there should be 50-60 people all eating in a resturant that just stop and stare at me.

That is not needed, there were so many people that stopped to converse about my skin shade. My ex is a moron, he loved people looking because it made him feel important, as if look at me, I gotta white woman. He even knowing I was Black loved getting the side effects of people always looking at me.

Critical Reflections on Ethnicity and Colourism in Africa and the Diaspora

‘Ethnicity’ is a subjective term that is widely debated, however, broadly it is identified as the belonging to a social group of common traditions or interests including; territory, forms of religion, values and social norms (Williams 2015: 147). Identifying and differentiating people by the colour of their skin is a specific type of behavioural pattern or archetype, also linked to ethnicity. This division of individuals based on difference of appearance, has often led to discrimination and violence, most commonly reflected in the act of racism. However, it also manifests in other forms, such as colourism, a concept intertwined with racism but distinct in its own respect (Harris 2008: 54).

Colourism is a prejudicial manifestation within ethnicities, which discriminates people, according to the tone or shade of their skin (Walker 1982: 290, Jones 2000: 1489). As scholar, Hunter (2007) recognises, colourism lies within the second system of discrimination, he argues that those of African descent can experience discrimination because of their race and ethnicity (the first system), but the ‘outcome of that discrimination will differ dramatically by skin tone’ (the second system) (Hunter 2007: 238). Moreover, colourism can operate in both intra-racial and inter-racial terms, meaning that it can be seen in a racial group to a member of their own race, or amongst those of different colours and race (Jones 2000: 1498).

Source: E.Iternational Relations

In Africa, I don't think colorism will ever end or change, Black Africans think that dark skin means that they're the original humans. There is a lack of education in most African countries about slavery. Especially considering so many Black Africans hate Black Americans but someone from the Caribiean is fine, they were all from the same slave ships.

Thank you for reading 🙏🏽 Please consider buying a coffee for Lacey’s House efforts in Gender Equality & Children’s Rights.

©️TB Obwoge 2024 All Rights Reserved

Stream of ConsciousnessHumanity

About the Creator


I'm the president of a nonprofit. I've lived in 3 countries, I love to travel, take photos and help children and women around the world! One day I pray an end to Child Marriages, Rape and a start to equal Education for ALL children 🙏🏽

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