Monday, January 4, 2010

Who Loves You, Baby? - Our Indifference Towards Dark-Skinned Sistas

Whenever I watch Hip Hop and R&B music videos I play this little game of counting how many times I notice a dark-skinned sista.
I'll watch bunny after bunny as the Machine pushes the money. Not that light-skinned ain't fly. Just over-exposed. No balance. But record companies, the videoHeads and the lawyers who gladly represent them would push back berry if berry was in demand...

not new. House and

Yet both still slaves...

Paperback test
To see if you can come in...

Gals only allowed to be sexual objects
Like shaking a thong but you run the jungle

And bucks only allowed to be sexual objects
Like Mandingo (dingo is Australian for dog)...

He called you a dog...
Now you call your self dog...

Black boys and girls
Know how to say
Liteskin and Blackie

Lauryn is darskin but beautiful
We don't think about the but
Though it's always there
Like wearing more hair
To be noticed...

It's a scar

To have to look away,
To pit sista against sista...

Deeper scar if you wanna stand out
Make a difference
Tell the whole story
But you don't in order to keep your job...

That says something about the industry; about us...

Says video pimps ain't thinkin' with their diks
But wit their delusion
Says we're still working out our residue
From the very first slave auction.

Race-ism is Big Bizness
But internalized racism is you and me believing in the hype

(Remember Don't believe the hype?)

"When a child is born into this world
It has no concept
Of the tone and skin she's living in...

Nothing can move us
We should be moving...

Don't see me from a distance
Don't look at my smile
And think I don't know
What's under and behind me...

Nothing can move us
We should be moving..."

--Youssou N'Dour

In the end, what matters is not skin shade but pan-african consciousness. Loving your complexion, your nose, lips, hair length and texture, no matter what the politics or trends decide, and simply be. That's the problem with us. We're still learning how to love ourselves. So used to glorifying others and putting others first... Who loves you, baby? I do, mama!!!


Ocean Morisset said...

Great, thought-provoking post! thanks for keeping this issue in the foreground of our minds!

RasConrad said...

I love the article. I do fashion photography and i'm ALWAYS trying to get darker skin tones in front of my camera. I'm lucky in that i'm fortunate enough to be outside the inner circle that wields the keys (so to speak) so i can still do pretty much as i like. I often wonder if that's one of the reasons i'm not invited INTO the inner circle more often. But hey. I'm gonna keep on doing what i'm doing my brother. YOU DO TOO. We can make a difference.

View my latest shoot that features a beautiful darkskinned brother and sista here at

K. Koromantee said...

Thank you, ras. and thanks 2 for standing out and making a difference while still keeping your job! i'll be sure to checkout your work. stay cool!