Colorism/Shadeism Project

When I watched the documentary ‘Dark Girls’ for the first time, I cried at how ignorant people can be to how alienated they make others feel. Although I am mixed race, I empathised with how the women in the documentary felt isolated and stigmatised due to the colour of their skin.

Now, due to the release of the sequel, ‘Light Girls’ on the 19th, I have been inspired to share my own experiences of shadeism while also asking you all what your experiences are. Together, we can come together and highlight the ignorance of the colorism in our society; finally putting to bed the ‘light skinned vs dark skinned’ jokes and instead learn to love each other for who we truly are, rather than judge each other by the colour of our skin. <3

The Power of The £: Why Protesting Outside DSTRKT Isn’t Enough

'On December 1, 1955, Mrs Rosa Parks refused to move when she was asked to get up and move back by the bus operator. Mrs Parks was sitting in the first seat in the unreserved section. All of the seats were taken, and if Mrs Parks had followed the command of the bus operator she would have stood up and given up her seat for a male white passenger, who had just boarded the bus. In a quiet, calm, dignified manner, so characteristic of the radiant personality of Mrs Parks, she refused to move. The result was her arrest.' - Martin Luther King
The image of Rosa Parks protesting for the rights of herself and fellow black people in Alabama is infamous, but change most definitely did not happen in one day. What is easily forgotten is that following that event that caused such a huge media explosion, black people in Montgomery refused to use the buses that drove them many miles on a daily basis, to and from work, for over a year until they were desegregated. It was only after this act of solidarity that real change was made. Fast forward to 2015, and after the news that DSTRKT nightclub in London's West End refused entry to a group of black women as they were 'too dark' and 'too fat,' the black community in the UK is left outraged. Images and videos of protests outside the venue were splashed across twitter and other social media, but is that really enough to create change? Here is why I know it is necessary that we must boycott DSTRKT.
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Light Girls – My Honest Review

So much promise, yet so many BLATANT pitfalls... here is my honest review on the much anticipated Light Girls documentary. Now if you have been a follower of my blog, my Instagram... or any other form of social media, you will know that I have been dying to watch the Light Girls documentary. The documentary promised to give a light skinned perspective on shadeism after the Dark Girls documentary shared a dark skinned view. I welcomed this prospect with open arms as I felt - and still feel - that the issue of colorism from both perspectives is such a key topic that needs to be discussed in order for us to move forward together; so much so in fact, that I began a project that invited people of all shades to share their experiences of colorism and shadeism in the run up to the documentary's release on the 19th. I eagerly waited for the documentary to finally become available in the UK, cancelled all my plans, sat down to watch it only to feel... let down. Let me explain...
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Carol: I am Proud of Being Mixed

I am mixed African American and Belgian. I went to a predominantly white school and as far as I can remember was always conscious of the fact that I was different from the other kids. I grew up in the 90's in a very small Belgian town where diversity was close to non existent. I remember my mom picking me and my little sister up from school, the stares, the comments and questions. "Are you adopted?", "Why is your mom white?" "Why is your skin brown?" and the list goes on. Luckily enough my parents raised us to know how beautiful and special we both were.
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Manza: Being Black in Thailand

Last year I decided to become a a missionary in Thailand. I've been here for 5 months already and I'm loving it. It's been the most exciting, exhilarating and challenging experience of my life. I live in the town of Korat, Nakhon Ratchasima. It's about 3 hours from the city Bangkok.
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Del: I am prejudice. I empower Colorism.

I am prejudice. I empower Colorism. I'm going to explain that statement; but first I'm going to make a disclaimer that this is not a story about my own personal struggle with being a victim of colorism. Yes, I've heard the "you aren't really black anyway" statement before but me writing about it isn't going to bring much to the conversation. Perhaps we have a danger of fundamentally misunderstanding a complex situation by focusing on one type of narrative; being the victim. A single story told many different ways doesn't define an issue so hopefully me explaining my perpetuation will help add more to it.
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Candace G: Breaking the Cycle Of Hatred

I come from a mixed background, and I've got 2 younger brothers and one sister from my parents. Mom's white, Dad's black - both from the deep south. And yes, it's as complicated as it sounds. Growing up we had "family" members who didn't accept us. Wouldn't let us or our dad on certain parts of the land. Crazy but that's how it was.
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Sarah: So Much More Than Skin

 Hello!
 
First off I would like to start by saying that this whole project is amazing; "Dark Girls" was really eye opening and I love that everyone is getting the opportunity to share their experiences.
 
The first time I 'experienced' shadism was the day I was born. Obviously I do not remember this happening, but my mother remembers it vividly and I hate how sad it makes her. When I was born, I was pretty pale, with straight, black hair. When the nurse went to check on me, she gasped when she saw my Mongolian spots. She had assumed that I was white. She turned to my mother and asked her if she knew that I was half black. It's bewildering to think that even as a newborn there was something about me that let other people know that I wasn't really one race or another.
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Lisa: I LOVE my Dark Skin

My name is Lisa Wilson my daughters name is Kelsy Wilson and we live in Louisiana. I have attached a few photos of me and her for you to use. Once again thank you!
Colorism:
I think the fact that we are so many shades of brown should be celebrated not discriminated. The melanin molecule which gives us pigments of these different shades is truly unique and beautiful. It took me many years to understand this and accept my brown skin. I often struggle to remember many things from my childhood. There are certain moments that I will never forget...
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Yasmin: Refusing To Play The ‘Light Skin’ Role

I am an 18 year old young woman of Anglo-Indian and Jamaican heritage living in the UK.  Growing up I've lived in  predominantly British Asian and white communities, and I attend a church mainly frequented by British Asian Christians. As a result I tend to reflect my upbringing and surroundings in terms of perception, culture etc.

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