R&R Aware: You Must Think You're Cute, Redbone
**Sister Toldja started a pretty thought provoking post series called Live From The Color Complex and although I already commented over there I thought I would take on the concept a little further here**
I've always lamented the fact that most cosmetic companies think that no one comes in shades that are darker than soft tan and that although Kelly Rowland is of equal or maybe even greater talent, Beyonce gets the constant spotlight as the breakout talent from Destiny's Child. Although I loved Vanessa Williams in Ugly Betty, I hate the fact that when the creators of Desperate Housewives decided to add a black main character she is just as bright as Eva Longoria and crew. It seems that the most successful national and local news anchors tend to be light skinned or biracial. Rappers and R&B artists relentlessly cast racially ambiguous light and bright models in their videos. And on and on go the list of examples of how light skinned black people are privileged in the world of media and in greater society over their darker skinned counterparts. Even Tyler Perry seems to always cast light skinned men as the saving graces of his female leads in most if not all of his movies.
These things are undoubtedly on the minds of the random black women (and men) who break from normal conversation with me to ask me if I "think I'm cute" because I'm light skinned. I get that the media drills in our heads that light is better but it's so old to have to "defend and prove" blackness in 2010 for people who ultimately are transposing their colorstruck views on me, which they like to shroud in black militarism or cultural consciousness. YOU must think I'm cute because I'm light skinned, because I sure didn't bring that up. I am a black woman before I am light skinned and I will always stand in solidarity and pride of my black heritage. Especially since in the wider world, black is black no matter what shade it is. Kola Boof, the Egyptian and Sudanese self described mistress of Osama Bin Laden turned writer, described herself once on Twitter as a black supremacist. She's gone on rants before about how she wants to see more of "her race"-dark skinned people with bold African features, and less of the "mulattoes" and other lighter skinned people of African descent in entertainment and other media. While I think Kola is a brilliant woman and I plan to read Nile River Woman, the book that allegedly has her receiving death threats, I can't help but think that her philosophy is part of the reason why the African Diaspora is as disjointed as it is. Any form of supremacy, whether it be black or white, really points to the insecurity of the person who supports it.
Yes, light skinned blacks might have some perceived "privileges" but don't fool yourself into thinking that these are anywhere near the privileges that are received by the majority or even other minorities.