This piece is inspired by the one and only Amber J. Phillips. Amber speaks frequently about “the sounds of lightness”. I’d like to use this space to echo the work of people who have helped me in my journey of excepting my skin tone and where I am on the spectrum.
Colorism, which is a form of internalized oppression, has been defined by Dr. Sarah L. Webb (She/Her) as the marginalization that darker skinned individuals experience on an individual and systemic level.
I had the honor of having Dr. Webb as a guest on my podcast and her message was clear and intentional. She spoke on why she dedicates her work specifically to colorism and why many people refuse to understand the importance of what she does. I am so grateful for her work and hope other people see the value in it as well.
I grew up with two sisters and was the darkest of us. I was reminded often of my skin color and the texture of my hair. I did not have the words I do now and am grateful for this. I am now able to see where I was harmed and prevent this harm from continuing in my lineage.
Acknowledging your differences will help acknowledge when you are being discriminated against. I acknowledge that there are people who are darker and lighter than me. This acknowledgement will also assist me in amplifying certain voices and removing myself from spaces when needed. The Darkest Hue is another great place for me to learn about colorism and misogynoir in popular culture, film, politics and more but I am aware it is “a Safe Space for *Dark-Skinned* Black Girls, Women, and femmes” so I would never center my voice there.
Always choose the Blackest option and decenter yourself in conversations not meant for you.
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