I haven’t ever experienced having a dark skinned woman look at me and ask me that question, until today.
I always knew that dark skinned girls felt left out because they feel under appreciated, and I understood that, I got that, because I’ve always felt the same exact way, but I’ve never had to experience that from other Black women before.
Growing up without a tribe of strong Black women is exactly why I was so easy to target as a victim of the Adrenaline Mob, not having a family to fall back on made me vulnerable, largely because no one thought I mattered.
Without a connection to a strong Black community, my life became forfeit, and the men who used boys to rape and abuse me, to add to their child pornographic collection.
Not having a strong family foundation is what made all of us susceptible to being victims of sexual abuse.
I don’t know how or why these Black girls coming into this community feel the need to perpetuate the hatred and turn “us” against “them”.
However, I’m not interested in having it. I know what it feels like to be completely alone, surrounded by white people, to always feel like the outsider, and to be vulnerable to abuse because I don’t have anyone who looks like me to back me up. I also know what it looks like when a strong Black man is also raised as a victim, and becomes a perpetrator, because he’s afraid to ever be victimized again. Also because he is surrounded by white people, telling him they have to follow them over the falls.
Largely because I was raised by a single mother, who also happened to be White, I have zero connection to Black culture.
I remember being told by a boy that he wouldn’t date me unless I was willing to get Dread Locks, I don’t wear them because it’s not my style, they’re too hard to manage and far too much work for me to be interested in dedicating the kind of work and care it takes to taking care of them.
I don’t wear them, specifically because a boy I liked told me he wouldn’t date me unless I had them. He’s currently living with a woman, and their children, (from different relationships) she does not have dread locks, but for some reason he won’t be with me unless I have them.
This leads me into what my friend from a fellow radio station once told me, “Black men and women are Fetish-sized, but women are far more susceptible to abuse then men.”
This is absolutely the truth, no one can tear a proud Black woman down faster or harder than another Black woman, and since we know that, I’m not entirely sure why we can’t move past this bullshit of Light skin vs Dark skin.
I however, won’t allow it to happen to me again, I didn’t say anything to the woman I spoke with today because her daughter was here, but if you read the pamphlet that I handed to you, I want you to know something.
You broke my heart today, and thankfully my person is wonderful enough to remind me in his way that I am loved regardless of how you feel about my skin color, but I want to ask you if I got the chance, what you’re teaching your daughter?
When I am lucky enough to have children, I am going to make sure that they know they are Black, regardless of how light or dark their skin color might turn out to be, and it probably will be light, because my skin is dark and his is quite pale.
That however will not make them any less Black to me or to their father, then it should to you, you had a moment to teach your daughter something beautiful about Black and Brown girls coming together, sharing our stories and creating a sisterhood. Instead you chose to show her that you don’t think of me as Black, because of my skin color.
You chose to teach her that I am an outsider because I do not have “Black enough roots”, I won’t apologize to you, but I will tell you that I feel sorry for your experience, because clearly like me, you’ve had people test your boundaries, and while I wish you well on your journey, I also want to thank you for the lesson you gave me today.
I’ve never had anyone question my Blackness before, if in anything, in the last few years, my blackness has given me my strength, my lack of it in your eyes does no less so now.
I am Jamaican, English, Irish, Scottish, Roma and officially Krisya. I am not alone, but I am clearly going to be more cautious about approaching women of color now, because once bitten twice shy.
I am sorry that you don’t recognize me as a Black woman, but not as sorry as you are going to be when one day you see my face on the cover of every Magazine in the country. I am Black, and I exist, and no woman, regardless of her skin color is going to make me feel less than, even if it stings.
I’ve been wanting to reach out to women of color my entire life, and while I refuse to let your rebuke stop me….I can assure you, you’ve now added to the culture of Black girl hatred, that is the legacy you are leaving your beautiful, Dark skinned daughter, and for that…I offer nothing but respect for you.
It takes a powerfully weak woman to tear down another woman, just because she can, while laughing like it’s a joke, when we both know it’s not a joke. It’s not me that your daughter will remember, when she looks back on this moment, she’s going to remember how you tried to cut me, and failed. I’m still strong, my voice is still strong, and your words aren’t powerful enough to tear me down.
Thanks for the inspiration though, because now every Black girl across the country, and all the women of India, Afghanistan and the rest of the beautiful countries that visit this site, know this happened to me, one more reason for them to remember they are not alone.
Sending all my love, to ALL the Black girls of the world, regardless of how light or dark your skin is,
Devon J Hall