Re: Colorism (selassielive)
Posted By: gman In Response To: Re: Colorism (selassielive) (selassielive)
Date: Tuesday, 30 May 2006, at 3:06 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Colorism (selassielive) (selassielive)
"Light skinned Black people don't have the power to oppress dark skinned Black people"
Hmmmm... I don't think that's been the case always and everywhere... Jamaica (from all what I've heard from Jamaicans, never been there myself) has been very much run by white over brown over black... Guyana a bit more complicated cos of the added factor of our co-existence and tensions with East Indians and others, and the fact that (African) Black people have held the reigns of political power there in the past, unlike in Jamaica (at least up until more recently) or the united states. But definitely as a light-skin person growing up in G.T. I was the (unwitting) beneficary of certain privileges. I ain't from the ghetto, but the same ting apply to people who are, like a bredren name Bongo Tone. (Rest In Uhuru) It was a big scandal in me auntie household (which included both blacker and browner people) when she now sight up Rastafari and start knot up and start dealing with Bongo Tone. But in the end some members of the fam found themselves able to accept this knotty dread Rastaman (Rasta was NOT an "accepted" thing in 1970s Guyana) into the fam - cos even though he was a ganja-smoking Selassie-praising so-called "disreputable" person, he was lighter-skinned and so eventually considered an acceptable match for me auntie, when it became clear that he wasn't going nowhere and me auntie was standing firm.
The U.S. is a different place in some ways than the caribbean (which in itself encompasses a lot of different places), but I could think of nuff examples of how colorism is ingrained there. The fact that Black African people collectively are beleaguered and persecuted by the larger white society that surrounds them, I think, makes colorism a bit less obvious in some parts of the U.S., than in some parts of the caribbean. Light skin and dark skin Black people are definitely both persecuted by the system in amerikkka (as they are in Guyana or Jamaica for that matter). But among both dark skin and light skin Black people there is a pervasive preference for lighter, obvious and hidden, conscious and unconscious. Just the amount of times I have heard dark skin Black women (in particular) lamenting their skin tone, or saying things like "bet you never seen a dark skin girl as pretty as me before huh?" etc. etc., would convince me that there is something wrong with the picture. I am sure there are individual cases where light skin Black people have felt picked on or dissed or whatever by darker skin Black people. But SYSTEMATICALLY light skin is given preference, so that's the main way colorism seems to operate. (i.e. it doesn't really cut both ways; or if it does, the one way is like a cutlass and the other way is like a pen-knife by comparison).
That's the conclusion that I've reached anyway... from my perspective.
Messages In This Thread
Rastafari Speaks Archive is maintained by Administrator with RastafariSpeaks.com 5.12.
FAIR USE NOTICE:
This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml