As a black or brown person, we all can agree we’ve heard of phrases such as “redbone, light-skinned or dark-skinned” in our very own communities. We never really understood the true meaning of colorism in our youth, however, the lighter you were it was deemed beautiful or more attractive than someone who is darker skinned.
What is colourism?
According to Oxford Dictionary, colorism is prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.
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Love and Hip-Hop star and singer Amara Le Negra voiced her experiences as a dark-skinned Latina.
“I’ve always been black and my skin is like that, it comes in my DNA, it’s part of my race. For years Afro-Latinos have been ignored. There is no Latin country where there are no blacks and they still don’t take us into account. They do not see us in soap operas, in movies, or magazines covers.”
Just recently, Amanda Sternberg revealed that she turned down an audition for a role in Black Panther, stating that the role was more suitable for a dark skin actress.
Zendaya candidly talks about how she has benefited from being seen as the traditional and more acceptable black women in Hollywood at Beauty Con Festival panel with Bozoma Saint John in New York this past weekend. She says,
“As a Black woman – as light skinned Black woman – it’s important that I’m using my privilege, my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community. I’m Hollywood’s, I guess you could say, acceptable version of a Black girl – and that needs to change.”
Zendaya also adds,
“We’re vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that. What I’m saying, it’s about creating those opportunities. Sometimes you have to create those paths. And that’s with anything, Hollywood, art, whatever.”
See the clip below:
“I am Hollywood’s acceptable version of a Black girl and that has to change. We’re vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that.” – #Zendaya in conversation with @BadAssBoz at #BeautyconNYC pic.twitter.com/wZaIrJm1Tw
— Danielle (@theislandiva) April 22, 2018