Day 10: Am I Black Enough? part 3
OK so I have this friend from Nigeria and she actually hates being referred to as black, for her it’s completely negative. She said that her skin is not black so why should someone call her black? OK so most 'black' people don’t have black skin, in fact some of us are very fair in colour or even closer to white skin complexion. So, what does it mean to be actually black? For me I think it comes down to the culture, but even that in itself is a mixed bag and everywhere that you go black culture varies. We could describe black as being African, but then is every African black? What about North Africans, are they black or would they consider themselves to be black?
In America with the one drop rule even someone with the whitest of skin and the straightest hair is considered to be black even if it’s only that one great, great, great, great, great, great grandparent that happened to be black and everyone else was white. it’s funny how this doesn’t work the other way round. If someone who was black in skin colour claimed to be white because their great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparent was white we would think them crazy or delusional to say the least. Yet we have some that do not wish to be called black (some well, one that I know of but there must be more like my Nigerian friend) because they see it as negative. The question would also arise then 'why?' Why is the term black seen as negative to some?
Another thing that I would like to bring up here on the same issue is that since childhood I've noticed that in the black community those with darker skin and the darkest actual real black skinned people are consistently mocked and deemed even ugly by other 'black' people (those of us with the non-black skin). I grew up hearing my friends use terms like 'blick black' and 'blue black' when seeing someone whose skin was as dark as ebony. They would laugh at them and say they were ugly. I never understood why, I find the black skin so mesmerising, like when I look into a fire and feel hypnotised, it’s so beautiful and unique to me.
Surely if we as 'black' people say that we are proud to be black why do we mock and ridicule, what I would call the real blacks? Surely, we should look up to them and treasure and admire them for their exquisite beauty? I remember even recently on social media a beautiful, handsome real black man with ebony skin was singing an Indian song, it went viral on Instagram, his singing was really good actually (as one who used to listen to a lot of Indian songs I know) and instead on complimenting him other black people were criticising him because of how dark he was. I was so disgusted. Even in the public on social media we as the black community mock our own skin colour or try and show superiority over who's skin is better. It’s like we should be black but not too black, why do we compete like that? We have serious issues with colourism, majority of us look at the dark skin black as a negative. We associate beauty with a lighter complexion. Why?
When I think back to my Nigerian friend and he hatred of the term being called black I remember her say about her brother that 'he’s handsome even though he’s dark'. When did skin shade have anything to do with someone’s actual beauty? Let’s face it beauty is definitely subjective, but for me personally if I think that someone is ugly and I paint them white they wouldn’t become beautiful in my eyes, just as if they were white and I considered them ugly and I painted them a shade of black I don’t think it would make them beautiful to me either. Any skin colour can be beautiful and anybody can be beautiful because beauty lies deeper than the tones of our skin.