Encountering colorism personally did not spark my interest in advocating against it. While teaching I witnessed colorist comments and actions among students which were damaging, humiliating, and possibly life altering; shaping the way they view themselves and potential relationships with other Black people. I was fortunate to not be damaged by my experiences, primarily because my positive experiences outweighed the negative.
Teaching has made it apparent , that what I once considered to be no “big deal” has grown into an even greater and ongoing campaign to scoff and belittle those with dark skin, particularly women and girls. The views and remarks of colorists have not faded out but in fact become amplified and projected sources of influence for our youth; the genesis of a greater divide.
I have lost count of the amount of dark skin jokes that have lead to students going from hysterics of laughter to poker face in a matter of seconds. I became frustrated with the way I’d over hear little black boys clown on little black girls when they were the same shade for cool points with non-Black students. Perhaps it was sparked by the lectures I’d give on the beauty of darkness after having to stop a little Black girl and boy (both dark) from going at each others necks about who was “a black ass”(often started by the boy), restoring the pride that mockery had taken and how ludicrous it is to belittle another Black person for their complexion, something beyond their control.