To all my black women, you are beautiful—no matter the skin color

"Dark Girls" movie posterI recently got word of an upcoming film called “Dark Girls” (thanks Robert Pierre), and the reaction to the film has seemed so strong that I almost felt obligated to chime in on the conversation.

The gist of the film is that there is still a deep-seated bias and negative attitude about beauty toward dark-skinned black women. Most black folks are aware of the divisions that have been created in our community because of slavery and the construct of race, which tries to place a value on skin color and causes all kinds of frictions among men and women (“Looks like light-skinned brothas are coming back…” You’ve heard them all before.).

I spoke to two of my aunts about the film, and they shared their experiences of being treated differently because of their darker skin.

I’m sure most people have also heard about the article evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa published in Psychology Today in May titled, “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” You already know how that one ended.

I asked some of my Facebook people for their thoughts on the film, and the response I got from one of my former Cal classmates was so on point that I wanted to share it in its entirety. Continue reading

Slavery a good thing for black people? Another perspective

Am I Not a Man and a Brother?

via PBS

As some people know, I’m planning to go on a reporting trip to Sierra Leone soon. In preparation for the trip, I’ve been talking to a number of folks who are familiar with the country. I had an interesting conversation not too long ago with a Sierra Leonean American living in the Pacific Northwest. He was telling me about how the people in Sierra Leone are some of the most welcoming people you will ever meet.

But as he went on about Sierra Leone’s unique history (as you know, Sierra Leone was settled by freed slaves brought there by the British navy in 1787) and how that history plays an important role in why Sierra Leoneans are so friendly and generous to foreigners, he said something that made me pause for a moment and reflect on my own experience as an African American. Continue reading