Can a Sista Get Some Love?: Dark-Skinned Women in the Media

Dark-skinned women- of all races- are portrayed as ugly, dumb, miserable & as sexual objects.


And what are the implications?

Did you watch the above video?  If you didn’t, go back and watch it, it’s important…

Black women are ugly, dumb and only good for sex.  White women are beautiful, smart, and suitable mates.  The closer you are to either end determines what you are.  Those are the rules.  I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this from Whites, not because I think they are racist, but because historically, groups always find ways to make other groups accept their dominance.  But from Blacks?

Enslaved mindstate.

Take another look.  It’s not race-ism.  It’s shade-ism.  It’s the most widespread form of black-on-black crime.

This is not a Black thing. Oh, no.  A lot of people understand.  I have lived in Saudi Arabia, and Oman, and have spent significant time in Pakistan and Thailand.  I have watched the television broadcast in these countries and also from India.  So I can tell you that this commercial is very typical.

The Road to Happiness…

Here’s a list of Black celebrities who have (apparently) bleached their skins:  Click Here

I remember reading “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahamsa Yogananda, the very influential guru who brought yoga to the United States.  He was from Bengal (modern day Bangladesh, but a part of British India at the time.)  In his book, he gloated, even using quotation marks, at the facts that there were Indians (in Kashmir) who were as white as Europeans.  Why didn’t he mention, nevermind with excitement, that there were (many more) Indians who were as Black as Africans?

Many Arabs are light-skinned, but some, like many Europeans, have skin that is pinkish, rather than very light brown, light-brown, blue, hazel or green eyes, and straight brown even blond hair rather than wavy or curly black hair.  I have an Egyptian friend who said that a light-skinned Egyptian girl can expect to marry a lawyer or doctor even if she’s only finished high school.

I had another Egyptian friend who used to tell me- with a smile on his face- that there were Egyptians (of either Turkish or Greek origin) who looked just like Europeans.  I’m proud to remember that he was just as glad to say that there were very dark-skinned people, too.

Another guy, a Jordanian colleague, bragged about how his children were born with white skin and golden hair, to the extent that Americans thought they were White.  I’m rooting (no pun intended, Aussies & Brits) for my next child to be very dark.  And I will brag about him or her with just as much genuine enthusiasm.

Brazilians swear they aren’t racist, but they had to pass laws, recently, establishing a quota of dark-skinned characters on television.

Therein lies the racism.  White is considered pure, or normal.  Anything other than white is considered impure and abnormal.  Everybody was so happy when Obama won, because he became America’s first Black president.  Everybody who calls Obama Black is racist.  His mother was White.  So there is just as much reason to call him America’s 43rd White president, but nobody does.  Why?  Think of 2 glasses of water.  You leave one alone, but you put a drop, just one drop, of poison in the water.  What do you call the first one?  Water.  What do you call the second one?  Poison.  It is only 1/1000 poison, but you identify it by that.  You identify it by the polluting substance.  That is why Obama has to be called Black instead of White.  That is why people whose families have been in France for generations are called “a Frenchman of Tunisian descent”, or “a Frenchwoman of Senegalese descent”.

Now, here is a slideshow proving dark-skinned women are beautiful, but before you watch it, realize that that’s not the point.  This whole blog’s missing the point:  Women do not have to be beautiful.  They can choose to be whomever or whatver they like.  They are here to make the best of themselves, not as decorations.

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We- men and women- too often look at the female world as a carousel, a gallery, where each passing woman is critiqued, measured and valued, based on her looks.

The true beauty of women- and men- is form the inside:  their character and their actions.


Until now, the discussion has been about “shade-ism”, intra-racial racism and discrimination against dark-skinned women in the media.  But let’s not forget that there is racism, too.  The following examples will make an undeniable case for a “soft” genocide of non-whites, perpetuation of self-hatred and promotion of miscegenation (breeding blackness out) in the media.  It will focus on American media, and you will be shocked.  Let’s do a few case studies.

Jennifer Lopez, Puerto Rican-American Actress, Businesswoman, Dancer & Recording Artist

Anaconda (1997)– Movie director with white boyfriend

‘Weaponized’ Miscegenation is selectively breeding out an ethnicity. It is a “soft” genocide or ethnic cleansing.

The Cell (2000)- Hint of romance with white man who saves her during an experiment

The Wedding Planner (2001)- White love interest

Angel Eyes (2001)– Policewoman with abusive father and estranged family who falls in love with White do-gooder

Maid in Manhattan (2002)– Poor hotel maid and single mother who falls in love with wealthy White hotel guest, then life improves

An Unfinished Life (2005)- Widower of White husband, who leaves abusive White boyfriend to stay with White father-in-law.  Begins relationship with White policeman in town.  Daughter fully European-looking and played by White actress.

Monster-in-Law (2005)- Temporary worker who gets engaged to White surgeon and has problems with White mother-in-law to be

Janet Jackson, African-American Recording Artist & Actress

Black and Latina women are often portrayed as White men’s playthings.

Super Bowl XXVIII Halftime Show (2004)

White singer Justin Timberlake stalks and repeatedly humps her from behind, then after singing lyrics “I’m gonna have you naked by the end of this song”, tears open her shirt, revealing her breast to the world

Eva Mendes, Cuban-American Actress, Model, Singer & Homeware Designer

Latinas and Black women are often shown as a promiscuous playthings, not serious partners.

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)– Undercover agent with White love interest

Cleaner (2007)- Widower of White husband, who had abortion after being impregnated from adulterous affair with White police officer

The Women (2008)- Perfume salesgirl in relationship with wealthy White financier

Last Night (2010)- Has adulterous relationship with married White colleague

Halle Berry, African-American (Bi-Racial) Actress

Healthy relationships within Black and Latino communities are rarely shown. There is always a need for a White “savior”.

Swordfish (2001)– Thrown out of a trailer by White man by getting kicked in the backside;  White love interest;  displays breasts;  lynched by White men and shot, while hanging, by White man

Monster’s Ball (2001)- Mother of morbidly obese son.  Cheats on her imprisoned husband with one of his white prison guards (negress has relationship with master while husband is powerless, hmmm…), including extremely graphic sex scene, for which she became the first black woman to win an Oscar for black actress (?!).  Of all the outstanding performances Berry and other Black women have put forth, what does this teach us?

2002 Academy Awards Ceremony– Berry presented the Best Actor, who forcibly kissed her on the mouth in front of the world, including her husband

To be fair, these actresses have all played other roles, with love interests and children of different races.  But we can’t overlook the prevalence of the following images:

1)  White Man’s Whore– a sexual object, a thing of pleasure, unsuitable for a real relationship.  This is outright dehumanization.  This is from the Darwinian eugenic idea that Black and brown people are sub-human.  (“All men are created equal” in the American Constitution clearly didn’t apply to Africans- implying that they weren’t men, for example.) Even now, the  implication is that a Black woman is less worthy of dignity, and less capable of it, than a White one.  Therefore, you are subconsciously led to believe, she is less human.  Ever wondered why you can see naked black women in National Geographic, but a naked white woman is considered pornography, and thus taboo?  Another historical precedent for this is American laws and customs before and after slavery barring relationships between Black men and White women, but rape and relationships between White men and Black women were never regulated.

2) White Man’s Burden– In need of salvation from poverty and misery by a White man, no prospects within own community.  Again, the implication is that of a sub-human or uncivilized savage who is in need of White civilization.  Europeans have long used this to justify their exploitation of non-white peoples:  “In exchange for their wealth, dignity and sexual availability, we give them, well, us.  Yes, this is a favor, actually…”

3) White Man’s Womb– bearer of White babies

This last one is a dramatization of actual projects to decrease non-White populations, and increase White populations.  Yes, there have been efforts to “breed (rape) the black or brown out” for centuries.  In Australia it was an government policy only last century (read this).  Yes in your lifetime.  And in this century “population control” programs- from forced or covert sterilization to forced abortions- overwhelmingly “favor” non-whites and/or dark-skinned people (read this).  Which population are they trying to control?

Bottom line:  I’m not against interracial marriage.

I’m not against White people.

I don’t resent light-skinned people.

Do you know why I do this?

Because my marriage is interracial.

Because my wife is as Aryan as any German.

Because one of my daughters is nearly white, and the other is brown.

Because I have my mother send me dark-skinned dolls from America all the way to Saudi Arabia, and my wife’s friends ask:  “Why does she have dolls like that?”  I do it exactly because I know they wouldn’t ask that if the doll had yellow hair and blue eyes.

Because the guard in my building was a Black Sudani.  The family downstairs used to scare their daughter by saying “If you don’t stop, we’ll bring kaloo uncle, black uncle.  You don’t want kaloo uncle to come, do you?”  My daughter is friends with that little girl.  Either she learns from them that something’s wrong with me, and herself, or they learn from us.

Because I don’t want my children, or any child, of any color, to think twice before picking up a brown crayon.

Because I want my children to feel proud that between their cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents, there’s every shade from pink to ebony, or not to care at all.

I do it because I am proud that my sisters decided to stop burning their scalps and hair to make it something it wasn’t and start appreciating what it is.  They stopped trying to look White, not because European is bad, but because African is just as good.

Stop looking to beauty for self-worth.  Value the ‘who’, not the ‘what’.  Be someone, not something.

If you don’t like the way you look, change it, from within.  Your true beauty is inside.

Never hate your self.  Never have to hate someone else to love your self.

Look for reasons to love your self, not in the mirror, but in your soul.  If you can’t find any, make some.

And smile.

Sometimes the best way to deal with an issue is to be able to laugh at it.  Enjoy this last one (please excuse the title):

See also:

Am I More Than a Color? “Unless…Colorism…is addressed… we cannot, as a people, progress” (Alice Walker)

NappySol a little bit of Jazz, Hip-Hop & Natural Hair

Black History Month:  The Future– “Whoever controls the images, controls your self-esteem, self-respect, and self-development.”  (Dr. Leonard Jeffries)

The Feminization of Black Men is Soft Genocide in Action–                                                                                         (Emasculization + Effeminization – Education = Domination)

And among His (Allaah’s) Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours: verily in that are Signs for those who know. (Qur-aan 30.22)

O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that they are better than them.

Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the they are better than them.  

And do not find faults in others,

nor be sarcastic to each other,

nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames- evil is a bad name after faith-

and whoever does not turn, these it is that are the unjust.  (Qur-aan 49.11)

O mankind! We created you from a single  male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know one another.

Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.  (Qur-aan 49.13)

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.”  (Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon, Ahmad, volume 5, page 411)

“Allaah has taken away from you the pride of the Period of Ignorance and its pride in forefathers.  (A man is either) a pious believer or a miserable evildoer.  You are the sons of Adam and Adam came from dust.  Let men give up their pride in their people- for they are just coals from Hell- or they will become more insignificant before Allaah than the dung beetle that rolls up filth with its nose”  (Prophet Muhammad in Abuu Daawuud, alAdab, page 111)

46 comments on “Can a Sista Get Some Love?: Dark-Skinned Women in the Media

  1. There are many dark skinned actresses in the media today than in any other time in history. Dark Skinned women in the media have always been cast with the same type of role, the suffering girlfriend/wife, the funny ratchet girl, the angry, embittered woman, and the ghetto girl. I believe this is ignorant, and they should expand the way in which they cast people for roles. They have just as much talent as anyone else, yet they will be overlooked for a light skinned girl/woman. It is time to put an end to racial stereotypes and expand the playing field to everyone. Furthermore, dark skinned actresses seldim get the glamorous, sexy, or high powered roles than light skinned actresses. Instead they are cast in more lower class, thugish roles because directors find that approach to be more believable. Dark skinned actresses must be recognized for their talents and be able to have just as much opportunity as anyone else.

    • I agree. Right Knowledge ==> Right Thinking ==> Right Action.

      In the end, it’s up to us to promote our interests. From broadcast satellites on down, we need to gain control over the means we need to promote our interests.

  2. There are a lot of inaccuracies in this article. I know how you feel, but please state facts

  3. Such an important article and the video was absolutely heartbreaking. As a fish-belly white Caucasian, I have always been a little embarrassed about how very white I am. It truly stuns me that rich coloured women don’t see how beautiful they are, and cute little girls think the smart, good child is the white one, *iinstead of the one that looks like they do*! I wish there were more public dialog about this. I would be happy to help subvert the dominant paradigm!

    • Thanks for such a heartfelt comment. The internet is a great space for public dialog. Why don’t you start a dialog with your friends by linking to this article and asking for comments? I’d be interested to read them myself…

  4. Historically, people worked in the fields, outdoors under hot sun and others worked/spent their time indoors as merchants or even royals. So the tone of your skin was associated with your economic standing creating the logic “poor people are darker than rich people”. That’s why terms like ‘yellow bone’ ie a light skinned black girl are a compliment. It’s the house slave vs the field slave, kind of thinking. China is a good example of a country where this mindset is still very prevalent. Then media and people (mainly those who feel intra-racial hatred) perpetuate this nonsense. As the great Marley said “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery”
    My parents are from two different countries and races, but my mother is so mixed no one has ever been able to guess where I’m form. In the US I’m Latina, in Lebanon Indian and so forth however race has never been much of a topic in my personal life until I moved to South Africa. Just as a bit of background.
    Thanks for the post, good read.

    • I think you are confusing two things into one.

      The Chinese people we usually think of are of the Han ethnicity. They typically have nearly-pale skin, and amongst them, tanned skin would be a sign of being so poor as to have to work outside. Likewise for the Negrito-Han-(perhaps Japanese) mix we typically imagine when we think of Filipinos.

      However, even for them, they do not mistake a tanned member of their own ethnicity (or ethnic mix) for a person of a richer-colored ethnicity, like the Dravidian and/or ‘Negroid’ people who have not mixed with later population waves. So these are two different things.

      No one mistakes a tanned person with a rich-colored person.

      Likewise, amongst African-Americans, no one thinks that a person is rich-colored because he or she has been in the sun. And that is not the reason they look down on them if they do. Rich skin tone- combined with stronger facial features and hair texture- indicates the absence or near-absence of European ancestry. In the white superiority paradigm, this makes them less like the people they’ve been taught to serve and worship, so they are less attractive.

      The ‘house slave v. field slave’ color comparison you mentioned, however accurate it may or may not be, has to do with those African-Americans who had VISIBLE European ancestry vs. those who did not.

      African-Americans with relatively pale skin and narrower features, when tanned, are never mistaken for “dark-skinned” African-Americans.

      It is simply not about tanning, but about the amount of VISIBLE European/Albino ancestry in the Americas, Aryan (Turkic) ancestry in the Indian Subcontinent, Han/Japanese ancestry in SE Asia, and a mix of Slavic, Turkic, Persian (Aryan) or Greek ancestry in the Middle East and North Africa.

      Thanx 4 writing!

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  8. Interesting article. I am a Mexican American woman born in Chicago of a slightly darker color. On a few occasions I have been mistaken for being Middle Eastern. I can’t even imagine the stereotypes that women of color have had to endure. I do feel that there are some that perpetuate the insult by allowing their physical attributes and sometimes even color to be altered simply to appear in magazine adds. I feel to be a true inspiration and role model you must be who you are in word, action and being.

    • Sorry, I didn’t see this comment until now. It’s really something to travel the world and see how interconnected and/or parallel these issues are. I’m just hoping that whoever can will do their best to make a change after becoming aware. That’s why I write!

  9. Wow I was so shocked to read this article. As a middle eastern girl I am tan. I have never even felt that people who had black color skin are so ashamed. I could not even imagine that people who had black skin because they cultural believe that black skin is not good. I was so shocked to know that it had came from slavery. It is so sad that this culture has not changed and women have not educated themselves to see that the dark image of their skin is beautiful. As I read this article I cried. Most women and kids wanted to be the average white girl because in school and social media that is what they taught. Lighter skin is always better and it is not true. I couldn’t believe that people would tell these women racist hurtful jokes about their skin color even today. I hope that these women will understand that they are beautiful and that culture has changed. The article also talks about other races who are different color skin and how they are not racist or have been teased about their color of their skin. The videos left me heartbroken and almost speechless. I cant believe that people believe that black people are just considered as slaves or not good enough. The movie I saw also showed how they lightened Beyonce e skin. However, as a black women on a add campaign it brought down so many other girls down because they believe that being lighter is better. Everyone has their own essential of beauty and I hope every culture get to live their life knowing their beautiful he way they are.

  10. This article, all these videos just left me speechless. I understand racism, but I never thought a group of people, racial people would be racist to their own group. Why is that we see white as beautiful, and black as ugly and dark. Where does that put me? I’m yellow (Asian) that does mean I’m between those two groups? To say that I enjoyed the videos is an understatement, I’ve learned so much from the videos and it really shocked me. What shocked me the most is the part where the little girl was asked which person is beautiful and smart, and she pointed at the white girl. Even though she herself was black, she at an early age thinks that white is beautiful. Ever heard of the color scheme black and white, ebony and ivory? I think white and black just by itself as a color is boring, but mix those two together and it’s great whether it’s decoration, fashion, etc. So I’m saying that there’s a lot of color out there in this world, and because our world has a mix of colors, and a diversity of colors, that’s what makes it so beautiful.

    • Dear Mita,

      I know how you feel about the videos. Even though I knew about this problem before, seeing those videos- especially that scene where the little girl was picking pictures- made me have to write something.

      Where does it put you? It doesn’t put you anywhere. You put yourself wherever you wanna be. Choose the best…

  11. This article is deep and informational. I found it totally insulting and embracing that dark skin is looked down upon. I am African American and i am brown toned but i love dark skin women. For them to be knocked down and only known to be good for sex is absurd in my opinion. What makes me more upset is that the dark women that are in magazines allow them to edit their skin and looks like they aren’t good enough just as them selves.

    This really just reminds me on how messed up and still racist and blind the whole world is to allow this to go on, and not have any say so or even take action to prevent or change this matter. I believe at times Race is to big of a factor and is even misused and misinterpreted. I believe its a lot of ignorant people in this world with lot of money and power and they push and promote lots of ignorance that affects our young influentially youth.

    • The only way to break the cycle is through our consumer choices. The only way these images and attitudes spread is through the things we buy. Think of all the things we spend money on that promote “light supremacy”: magazines, makeup, music, TV shows. The list goes on. When people stop making money off these ideas, they’ll be able to think about them more clearly, and reach different conclusions.

      P.S. By “embracing” I think you meant ’embarassing’, right?

  12. It is strange to me seeing how severe of an issue color is to society today. All this shows is pure ignorance and lack of education. I have been so blessed to get an education and continuing higher education and have learned so much by it already. It is ridiculous to think of people darker than us as people who have something wrong with them. Whether we are white or black, every single one of us has a different shade of colored skin on us. Some of us are white with a pink tone or yellow tone, some have an olive tone, or a brown tone. We are still the same people, the same race, the human race. It also sounds so funny to me because if we look back in history, we all descended from Africa and migrated and grew into different parts of the world. Through evolution, different countries and races adopted different features, and skin color was one of them.

    • “because if we look back in history, we all descended from Africa and migrated and grew into different parts of the world. Through evolution, different countries and races adopted different features, and skin color was one of them.”

      This is not really accurate. Race is a misleading term since it only represents superficial physical characteristics rather than overall genetic differences (such as happened with the Dusky Sparrow). If you are going to allow the term “race” to cover differences between Asian, European, Polynesian, Native American, East Indians, etc. then you would need to create perhaps fourteen race terms within dark-skinned African populations.

      When you talk about race (based on appearances) and genetics you will generally get into trouble. For example, one woman with a black father and Japanese mother visited Hawaii and the tourist kept asking her directions thinking that she was Polynesian. Presumably she looked Polynesian even though that was not her genetic heritage. You could easily find someone in the US identified as Caucasian who would actually be more genetically African than someone identified as African.

      The entire human population that spread out from Africa is from a relatively small genetic subset while Africa itself retains considerably more genetic diversity.


    I really enjoyed reading your article “can a dark skin woman get some love…” I could definitely relate to a lot of your words and the videos you included. It’s great to hear a man speak up about these issues and especially a man who is in an interracial marriage. I often assume that when a black man marries outside of his race or marries a black woman who is very light skinned and exotic that it’s because he too believes that the lighter and whiter a woman he can marry the better. I know this is not always the case because I do know black men who have simply fell in love with beautiful women who are of a different ethnicity not because of their lighter skin tone but because of them as a person. However, this example doesn’t usually seem to be the norm.

    I also like how you exposed how this issue is one that is perpetuated around the world and in many different ethnicities. I have a coworker now who is dominican and recently told me a story about how she one day took a bath in baby powder because she felt her mom didn’t love her because she was dark skin and the mom was white. Her whole life she was made to feel like she wasn’t pretty because she was the darkest one in the family. Smh :-/.

    Well, thanks again for sharing and or your boldness to address this topic.

    Hope all is well with you and your family.

    God bless,

    • Thank you; I have been waiting for this comment.

      Prophet Muhammad advised us to stop any evil we see with our hands (strength), and if that was not possible than with our tongues, and if that was not possible then in our hearts. I think this teaching is agreeable even to non-Muslims. So I have spoken out against the issue, and it was my duty to do that.

      As for marriage, Prophet Muhammad said that a man marries a woman for four things: wealth, beauty, lineage, or piety, but that it was best to marry for piety. I think that even non-Muslims would find this advice agreeable as well. I myself have followed it. I will further tell you that there was no woman of my race that wanted to marry me. Even though that was inconsequential to my choice, it may mean something to you.

      Allaah says in the Qur-aan that He Created us in peoples and tribes that we may know each other. So there is nothing inherently wrong with inter-racial or inter-cultural marriage. When “mixing” is weaponized as a systematic tool against one group, this is obviously wrong. These are two separate, though corresponding issues.

      So there is no contradiction in my words and actions, according to my principles, which, by the way, are ascribed to by many, many Africans, African diasporans, and other black peoples around the world.

      That is all that I will reveal of my blueprints for now.

      What do you think now, in light of my response?

      • My thoughts have not changed. I find it impossible to believe there were no women of color willing to marry you. While I have no issue with your romantic choices, I do have an issue with your hypocrisy. Live your life and love whomever you love. But please spare us the nonsense.

        • Who’s a hypocrite? Maya Angelou? Eve?

          They all married White men, so, where are you goin’ with this?

          ” I find it impossible to believe there were no women of color willing to marry you.”

          I’m flattered, but unfortunately it’s true. In fact, it’s hard to find people who want to AND ARE READY to get married in the first place. I am a Muslim from Austin, Texas. By the time I was ready to get married, I was living in Weslaco, TX, where you’re lucky to see a Black person once a month. In these situations, finding someone who’s eligible is statistically improbable. But let’s just say it did happen- what if you don’t find personal compatibility in that person, or what if they don’t in you?

          So find it possible. At the very least don’t make assumptions without knowledge. You’re smarter than that.

          It would be a better intellectual exercise to contemplate I am Africanizing Pakistanis, if you have to look at things that way. By all accounts, I’m the first African to visit the remote village of my in-laws. They listened to the stories of my ancestors, our ancestors, ancient and recent, and I listened to the stories of theirs. It was the first time shea butter and black soap entered their homes. They have new ways of dressing and looking at things because of me. Is there any way this would have happened outside of marriage?

          Now, the difference between a political agenda in certain circles to systematically destroy people, and individuals making choices free of political motivations is clear, or at least it should be. I respect your choice to feel however you want to feel about that, but personally, intellectually and logically, I can’t see how it’s hypocrisy. I can’t consider myself to be unbiased, of course, but who can? Isn’t the whole point, in the end, that color shouldn’t matter? It’s such a superficial consideration anyway. At least color is real. Race, as we normally think of it, was created by eugenicists and supremacists. So why should we still define ourselves by it? If we reject them, we should reject their ideas. It’s like former colonies fighting over invisible lines because some European country drew them on a map one day.

          Rather, I choose to evaluate people solely own merit. I will never forbid my self from a righteous person. We don’t know each other, of course, so I don’t know how you will take what I’m about to say without having seen how I live: I’m above the race issue. I don’t ignore it, I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, but I live outside of it. I love who I am, but my identity, heritage, and culture are my strengths, not my limits.

          I see from Facebook that you’re into Africa. You should learn about Islam. It meant much more to many more Africans, and still does, than even the Pharaonic culture:

      • It seems to me I do recall saying ” Live your life and love whomever you love”. So the long drawn out dissertation was not necessary. What I do know is you are doing exactly what you claim to rail against. Long winded responses do not make you right. It just makes you long winded.

    • Inarticulate responses don’t make you deep: they just make you inarticulate.

      It shouldn’t have been you, Lo Key, it shouldn’t have been you. I was waiting for someone to bring up the issue, someone with the compassion to give their brother the benefit of the doubt- but you’re only judging and jumping to conclusions- someone willing to use their intellect to decipher subtleties- but your comments are all reactionary and emotional- someone willing to articulate- but you only repeat yourself and use rinky-dink cliches. I mean I would have expected this level of conversation 20 years ago at a skating rink, or maybe the video arcade, but…

      I’ll leave you now to your Egyptian fantasy posters. If certain knowledge of them ever reaches you, than remember that it has already been written in the books of old that He is the Lord of Sirius.
      Whoever has the following four (characteristics) will be a pure hypocrite and whoever has one of the following four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy unless and until he gives it up:
      1. Whenever he is entrusted, he betrays.
      2. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie.
      3. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous.
      4. Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very imprudent, evil and insulting manner.

      If somebody accuses another of evil, such an accusation will revert to him (i.e. the accuser) if his companion (the accused) is innocent.

  13. Reblogged this on The Nahmias Cipher Report and commented:
    Powerful! In a era when money and fame or lack thereof is the prevailing currency of worth, it is sad to witness people judging each other on the specious notion of skin color. I experienced this upon my return from Africa and never understood the self-hatred. Not only a must view for Black Americans, but also scroll down to view the racist East Indian commercial.

  14. Great article Daniel. I remember as a child my mother going out of her way to make sure that my sister and I never thought I was any better looking than she was because she was darker than I was. In the 80s when were were kids, finding a black barbie (or any other doll for that matter) was extremely difficult but we weren’t allowed to play with white dolls. My mother was borderline militant about ensure that we were not raised with this “colourist” mentality which is so engrained in Jamaican society. I’m Jamaican born and raised there and I would argue that our focus on colour is so much more intense and the racism so deeply embedded that we assume it’s natural and normative nature. Even though Jamaica is a multicultural country the population is predominantly black and popular culture is mostly influenced by Jamaicans of African descent. And yet, there is stil a pervasive anti-black sentiment when it comes to reading beauty and success so much so that skin bleaching is at an all time high. I’ve been writing a dissertation chapter on skin bleaching in Jamaica, China, India and Ghana– and I am generally finding that this global phenomenon is also linked to a wider preconceived “whiteness” of human development. Persons often assume that historically anti-black sentiment was a consequence of 16th century chattel slavery, but in fact, centuries before that etymological analysis can pin point how even in language we have been cultivating this sentiment across various cultures and in many ways the rise of western capitalism on the steam of imperialism and colonialism has exacerbated rather than mitigate these insidious norms.

    Again, one cannot capture all of the elements, but very insightful piece.

    • That dissertation sounds interesting. And I wouldn’t have thought that about Jamaica, seeing how so many Jamaicans that I have met around the world are relatively dark-skinned. I have met some light- and very light-skinned ones also, of course, and I guess if I look back, I can see how they are disproportionately represented in the little Jamaican media I’ve seen.

      Really, I would like to see that paper if I can when it’s done.

      G’wan Shari!

  15. I admire and desire Black women of all hues more than any other.I have had experiences with other ethnicities,and the Black woman seems like color television,while some of the others seem like black& white tv.I know that I should like all women as individuals,regardless of color or race,and I will work on it.

    • There’s definitely nothing wrong with preferences. It’s impossible for a person not to like some things better than others. But I do think it’s wrong for attraction to be the basis of our interaction with people, and our basis of judgment.

  16. I think your summary of the U.S. movies is lacking in some depth. E.g. Eva Mendes was in Hitch, with Will Smith as her love interest and in Out of Time she was a head police detective and didn’t have a love interest, as far as I recall.

    I’m not saying that stereotyping does not occur in the U.S. media, but there are at least some alternative representations in the main-stream Hollywood film industry (though I did hear, and I hope it’s not true, that Cameron Diaz was actually set to play Smith’s love interest in Hitch but it was decided against because the U.S. public are more uncomfortable with seeing a Black man with a White woman than the reverse – though that doesn’t seem to be consistent with the argument that the breeding out of Blackness is promoted by the American media). Some of my favourite Hollywood films (e.g. Seven Pounds, Antwoine Fisher) feature romances between Black couples that don’t seem to me to have racist undertones.

    But thank you for the interesting read!

    • I don’t think my summary lacks depth. I ended with this caveat: “To be fair, these actresses have all played other roles, with love interests and children of different races. But we can’t overlook the prevalence of the following images…”

      So what I’m saying is that these images are perpetuated through media. I didn’t claim or imply that this is the media’s sole agenda. More importantly, there is a historical context and agenda that these images come out of that is still alive today, which is the true cause for alarm.

      That think about Hitch isn’t racist if you think about it. If you’re making a movie, your goal is to make as much money as possible. It’s not your choice what your intended public prefers.

      In the end, I have seen a lot of films with positive relationships between minorities coming out of a lot of countries, with dark-skinned women as stable love interests in some cases. I think a lot of that has to do with minorities working in the media exercising their autonomy wisely.

      “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” (

      “Whoever controls the images, controls your self-esteem, self-respect, and self-development. Whoever controls the history, controls the vision.” -Dr. Leonard Jeffries

  17. I totally enjoyed this writing and exposure on the self hatred that is apparent in not only the Black community but other darker skinned races as well. Excellent insight. Now if we can just re-educate ourselves and future generations that self love and respect for every shade under the rainbow is perhaps the answer to end racism.

  18. Reblogged this on The Depression Adventurer and commented:
    I was born very pale, I can’t tan worth anything, and I really don’t understand why people see these women with dark skin differently. I suppose my parents raised me well in that regard. Maybe it’s the artist in me? I’m fascinated with what is different from me.

  19. I agree with so much of what you said – It’s insightful and well written.

    But… “Everybody who calls Obama Black is racist.” No, everyone who calls Obama black is a realist. Also, “rooting” for your next child to be dark-skinned, (while I appreciate your intention) is, despite the reasons behind your desires, a flawed way to approach the issue. If your next child is not dark-skinned, will you love him/her any less? Of course you wouldn’t. But just as a child can sense that her dark skin is “not good enough”, she can sense when her parent wanted her to be darker/taller/shorter/straighter hair/kinkier hair etc. The color-struck communities internationally are appalling and detrimental to the future and well being of its communities, but let’s not add to the madness by expressly wishing for physical traits in our own offspring, no matter how well meaning the desire.

    • Geneva,

      Thanks for commenting. Well I don’t think you need to worry about what I said. We’re also hoping to have a boy, but only because we have two girls. We won’t be disappointed about anything about our children, and certainly not the superficial. But I think you’re right in pointing out “reactionary racism”. It’s real, but not for me. Don’t worry…

    Great work Daniel. Very well written. I assume you remember me telling you that my mother always thought I was ugly because I was dark? With age, I have matured and love my skin colour. I hope the minds of the asian culture changes as well and love all shades of skin.

  21. Your words are so potent and important. The video journey was a helpful tool- by the time I got to the Indian commercial I was APPALLED. I do see this on a daily basis in Asia, although Japan does seem to be a bit less concerned than other countries such as Thailand and India, but that probably has to with the population being collectively lighter here. And in the US and Latin America I have often heard my latino friends talking about how someone “stayed in the oven too long” or is “burned” or “black”. This dialogue doesn’t happen in white communities- instead we seem to be tanning ourselves into oblivion. And no one thinks twice about the reason or the implications, but it’s meant to have something to do with dark skin being sexy and exotic. No one blinks an eye or thinks about how this not only objectifies all women as sex objects, but how it actually perpetuates the oppression of darker women. I agree, the entire thing is SICK. And I’m just as guilty of it as the next white female. People (I’m especially mindful of whites here) DO need to think about these things, including media imagery. #1, 2, and 3 felt like truth bombs- I hope more people will hear those. And I’m so happy that you are actively fighting now against the images that will unfortunately probably be imposed upon your daughters for the rest of their lives. Keep having grandma send those dolls and hopefully they will continue to have a positive perception of their skin color. (Random note: as a child, I only wanted my mom buy me dark-skinned barbies- wonder what message I had received there?) One of the reasons it is perhaps so easy to infect young minds with these perceptions is because physical looks are one of the easiest ways to categorize other humans, and lacking much communication, this is the only thing babies and children will be judged on… by adults and eventually by other children who have picked up those adults’ messages. It’s a disgusting cycle. Things like this make me want to retreat to a desert island. Your daughters are both beautiful, but I hope they grow up to value their minds and hearts more. You’ll make sure of that, and hopefully others around them will too.

    • This topic seems so strange to me. I suppose dark skin can be viewed as exotic but so can very fair skin or freckles or tall or short or thin or heavier. It’s difficult for me to think of any body type that cannot be viewed as exotic by someone. It’s particularly interesting because in trying to achieve a perfectly average form we end up with girl-next-door which can also be seen as exotic.

      I recall one time standing in line at a checkout behind a woman who had particularly dark skin, probably the darkest skin tone I had ever seen in person. I thought her skin looked nice. I didn’t see it as exotic though; she seemed like a typical person to me. I might have started a conversation with her but I was married at the time. I suppose someone might think of a woman with darker skin as somehow sexually more exotic. But why would this make any more sense than thinking of red haired women as having tempers or thinking of blond women as dumb?

      I remember another occasion though when I was in college and working in the computer labs. I’m short for a guy at 5’3″. One woman I helped who was working on a masters degree was noticeably shorter than me; she couldn’t have been taller than 4’10”. I didn’t think anything about it at the time. However, a couple of days later she passed me in the hall and we exchanged “hellos”. Then, as she walked on down the full hallway, I noticed that people were staring at her. Presumably because of her height because there was nothing else unusual about her.

      It makes me sad to think that darker skin or naturally curly hair would be seen as bad or less than something else. If I had been taller I’m certain I would have been picked on less in school (which even continued into college). However, my height is not bad; it’s just how tall I am.

      • Right. In a way you’ve expanded this topic- by introducing height into the argument- to being about not fitting into contrived ideal standards. It’s innocent enough for a person or even group of people to have preferences about appearance (just as we do about everything else) but it’s entirely another thing to attach good and evil and other stigmas to people’s appearance, isn’t it? The thing about ideals is that their idyllic, like utopian visions of a society. No one ever lives up to them, but the few who are close use them to control those who are further away. It’s a big mindgame…

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