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Colorism Within The Black Community

Recently I watched Madam CJ Walker on Netflix. Wasn’t based on sole facts. One character I was fixated on was the character Addie. She was portrayed as Madam Walker competitor. They’re relationship grew from Addie doing Madam Walker hair and Walker washing her clothes. Addie was portrayed as a mulatto woman. Madam Walker was of a brown complexion. The time frame was the early 1900’s which of course many black people where still overcoming a lot of things. From the ending of slavery, lack of wealth, and even colorism.

Madam Walker expressed her interest in selling Addie hair products. Addie proceeds to tell Walker that she is not an ideal candidate to sell the product. Mainly from her appearance. She wasn’t of lighter complexion with long straight hair down her back. Addie also expressed that every woman wanted to look like her, a woman of fair skin, with long straight hair.

During slavery it was instill in the slaves that the lighter complexion amongst African Americans were better. The House Nigger is what they were called. The darker complexion slaves were known as the Field Nigger. The ideology came from Willie Lynch. Lynch was a slave trainer and he made his present known all across the world. The Western Hemisphere really locked in on his teaching.

In those time as well, it was considered if a person has one drop of Black blood, they were considered Black. It wasn’t farfetched that there were many mulatto children being born from the slave masters. Colorism within the Black community is real and alive to this day. It is 2020. I never understood it due to how I was raised in the South. Many of the women in my family are of lighter complexion. I was never taught to dislike my love ones because I’m of darker complexion.

We compliment each other. I see them as I see myself, a Woman of Color in American still trying to overcome the racism that still exist. Racism another conversation for another day. I gave you a little back history of colorism because I think most of us are still in the mindset of slavery. Our mindset hasn’t changed. I’ve had colorism conversations most of my life. It grows deeper into adulthood. Most of my good girlfriends are of lighter complexion. Some even mulatto. Some of the conversations I have with them often breaks my heart.

How they’re treated based on how they look. Yet they are some of the sweetest people you will ever meet. Being down south really will put a bad taste in your mouth. Where is it is colorism among women of color. The light skin vs dark skin. Which in my honest opinion should be put to rest? This is a subject that I know will require a part 2 and 3.

From the men in our culture, to how the women of color wear their hair. It is still a problem within our community. I don’t expect my article to sway you to think one way or the other. What this is, is a conversation piece. A thinking piece. Until the next time with this Apocalypse stay positive.

Written By: Tiffany Terrell (Radio Host/Founder/Media Relations)

Photo by Clarke Sanders on Unsplash


Published by urbanish-digital

Urban.ish  Digital is a community of contributors that publish stories ranging from celebrities, entertainment industry, music, fashion, lifestyle, events, and entrepreneurship. Our contributor's background range from high fashion educators, educators, entrepreneurs, authors, hip hop enthusiast’s and journalists. Urban.ish Digital contributors will bring stories to life that matters to our communities. Stories that are often overlooked. Our platform will publish relatable topics and articles for audiences around the globe. Contributors: Urban.ish Digital Managing Editor: Jicara Keshaun – Contributors: Vanessa Henderson - (Fashion Contributor) Akin Gibbons – (Music: Hip Hop Contributor) LA Walton – (Entrepreneurship Contributor) Joy Ford – (Lifestyle/Fashion Contributor)

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