When I look at my skin, I see the brown and gold, and underlays of orange. I’m a symbol of life. Color represents vibrancy and energy. The warm colors of my skin when adorned by other colors, produces different sensations in those who see me. I like my skin tone.
Often, I’m reminded that the ancient African queens and women of my culture adorned themselves with feathers, gold, bronze, painted their bodies, and some even walked around naked, proud of that beautiful skin that shined in the sun.
So much has been made about skin tone. It has been instilled in people of color the value of their skin tone by white people for centuries. But that has been a skewed exchange.
During slavery, white slave masters figured out a sinister way to control their slaves. Filled with innate fear of reprisal, they had to come up with a way to subdue their human bondage completely. Rape became that tool. At night, slave masters were known to have their pick of females and would often impregnate these women. Creating lighter skinned children instilled jealousy in the darker skinned slaves, thus, the slave master learned how creating this insecurity in the slave; they could divide and conquer the slaves, and deter any uprising, simply by pitting the slaves against one another. Mental enslavement was employed with malevolent intent and as such, those of African descent became Niggerized and have never seen themselves the same. To deepen this inferiority and insecurity, whites used propoganda and media to export this bigotry. And it had great impact.
The power of that hate was so deep, many Black people internalized the bigotry of the oppressor on their own people, discriminating against those too dark or who didn’t have straight enough hair or light eyes. Even dictating this to measure which Blacks were even acceptable to marry. It was a sickness that would last generations.
However, in the 1960’s, because of the Civil Rights Movement, Black people embraced themselves and broke the chains of that inferiority. The yelled at the top of their lungs, BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL! Oh, yes it was and yes it is.
Our skin is our history. It is the one thing that defines our uniqueness as a people. We’ve been hated for it. Envied, studied, now lusted after because of it. It is our biology. Our mark to a birthright and knowledge that our ancestors were the first to breathe. The spirit of God inflated their lungs and they looked up and saw the Most High–created in his own image. He was our mirror and every time we see our reflection, we see HIM in US.
Low self-esteem has no home in me. I know who I am and where I come from.
Thank you to the Most High for giving me the honor to wear this skin. I will treat it well.