Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Since I've been watching my nephew and walking around with him I've noticed something interesting in the way people react to him. Now he's gorgeous, don't get that wrong, but people only focus on one of two parts of him, his light skin and curly hair. I've always been considered in the middle so I don't really have any experience with being either light or dark and being harassed because of it. But, everytime I go out with my nephew people are always remarking on his "good" hair and how lucky he is to have it, and they also make inferences about his toddler behavior based on his skin tonel. We were in the grocery store and this lady was talking to him and he wasn't responding to her but he was all about this other lady. Then the woman he's ignoring says oh its because she's light . I'm like come on! He's only 1 yrs old, he doesn't know anything about colorism. My family is very diverse in skin tone, economic situation and a multitude of other factors. People don't see that they only se his light skin and curly hair.

He gets his hair texture from his mom and the volume from my brother. My sis in law told me how she was afraid to say that she liked her hair when she was younger because people would assume it was because of the texture. I don't deny that there are still plenty of color struck people out there and unfortunately a lot of Black people suffer for it. But, is it really necessary to place this all on a baby. Also what bothers me is that many people complementing his hair and skin don't have that in common with him, so I always want to ask them what are you saying about yourself? This self hate runs so deep its sickening. My nephew is beautiful and sure his hair and skin play their part because they're connected to him, but they do not make him any better or worst, and I know for damn sure he won't be continuing this vicious cycle.

We are on the cusp of a major breakthrough in American history in possible electing a Black President, but unfortunately this will have little effect on the way we view ourselves. Will Obama's biracial heritage place him above us without that same heritage? What if Michelle, Malia and Sasha were all rocking natural hair styles? What if Obama was closer to Djimon Honsu than Will Smith? These are all things to consider and hopefully it will all end son, but I'm not oppormistic

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“I remember how being young and black and gay and lonely felt. A lot of it was fine, feeling I had the truth and the light and the key, but a lot of it was purely hell.” ~Audre Lorde