A few days ago I was scrolling through a popular black-owned online magazine for black women. I was in search of someone who looked like me and even after nearly fifteen minutes of scrolling the website, I failed to find someone who shared my skin tone. All the videos, beauty tips, hair tips and news were centered around and created for biracial women with both black and white ancestry, and occasionally lighter-skinned black women. There was no representation for dark-skinned black woman with 4c hair. I felt like an afterthought on a platform that was supposed to be for me and by me.
Unfortunately, this is a common theme in the black community. Any so-called pro-black website or blog for black women will feature a majority of light-skinned black women, and most surprisingly, biracial women with black and white ancestry. Even if the founder of the publication is a darker-skinned, chocolate-toned black woman, it’s rare to find women darker skinned black women on black platforms. So why is this?
Black Women Feel The Need To Be Inclusive
A reason why the aforementioned publication chooses not to primarily portray dark-skinned black women, is that they are simply following the trends of real life. Black women are all-inclusive, even to our own detriment. Even at the risk of being white-washed and overlooked, we still choose to include biracials in our platforms and spaces.
Some of the erasure that is happening with black women is actually our own fault. When we have the opportunity to represent and portray ourselves exclusively, we often include biracial women and white women. For example, early this February, Kelly Rowland teamed up with Dove to present her song, Crown, which is a hair anthem for girls to wear their hair they have proudly. The phrase “embrace your crown” was created by and for black women and our natural hair, so it only made sense that the video would filled with empowering images of black girls wearing their “crown” despite the systematic oppression we face.