Our eyes locked, instantly my stomach became fluttered with butterflies as I didn’t expect the familiar face I hadn’t seen in nearly ten years. The opportunity presents itself for us to catch up and reminisce. The admiration I had once felt for this young black man was not entirely reciprocated. Now as he stood before me, I could feel lady justice tipping the scale. We make small talk about what we currently have going in our lives. He proceeds to tell me that he’s a father of a then 8 or 9 year old daughter; he takes out his phone and pulls up a couple of pictures. She was a beautiful young Queen, his spitting image. He must have felt the vibe of my inquisitive thoughts, because out of nowhere he provides an explanation, one that I was totally not expecting.
He then says, “ You know I was really immature back then, the way I thought about things just didn’t make sense.” With a puzzled look on my face; I asked, “what do you mean?” He replies, “I know you was feeling me back then, and I was too; but I aint gone lie, the fact that we are both dark skinned was an issue for me. ”I wasn’t taken aback by his confession, as I briefly reflected on another conversation I’d had with a former boyfriend and his homie whom were both dark skinned men; his homie expressed a similar sentiment. I just didn’t expect that level of honesty from him. By this time in my life I was fully aware of colorism, its perpetrators and their denial, and the effects. Since this was not the first time a man his hue acknowledged why they avoided women my complexion; I find it interesting that even when they go out of their way to avoid procreating dark children they never consider that they can still produce dark children because they are dark regardless of the mother’s complexion. (I call this the Gilbert Arenas Affect) He goes on to state, “Once I found out I had a daughter and saw she looked just like me I began to understand how crazy my thinking was.” However, as much as I wanted to have an appreciation for his honesty. I couldn’t help but consider the effects of his thinking on his parenting.