Welcome!!! I have decided to take a journey deep into my inner self to discover a deeper sense of peace and maybe even to get some of life's most puzzling questions answered. Feel free to join me on this journey and leave your thoughts...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Skin Color and Hair Texture: A Black Woman's Journey

The color of my skin...The texture of my hair... A black woman’s journey...


“I have a dream that one day my children will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice.” -African-American Proverb

“All God’s children got good hair.” -unknown

Chocolate - Dark
"Dark-skinned" "Black" "Chocolate"

Caramel - Medium
"Brown-skinned" "Caramel"

Mocha Latte - Light
"Light-skinned" "Fair-skinned" "High-Yellow" "Red Bone" "Yellow Bone" "White"

Background Info:

I think the content of this article in its entirety can be used to effectively teach children and adults about this sensitive subject matter. Here are a few points I would like you to keep in mind while traveling on this journey with me.

The first point I need to clarify is about the audience of Hip Hop music. I think Hip Hop music reaches very far! Probably because some of it is more "Pop" than Hip Hop. Joy Daily (the journalist below) is wrong! The record shows that the largest consumer of Hip Hop music are, by far, white teenagers... I know it's shocking but it's true. I don't know how she missed that very important piece.

I think kids will immediately be snapped into what I'm saying, engaged, and interested, because when they look at my photo collages they will see Beyonce and Rihanna who are EXTREMELY popular right now! Also in the photo collages are singers Amerie, Lauryn Hill (like 8 Grammys around 2001), and Faith Evans.

When readers view "Complexion Obsession" they see rappers Drake and Rick Ross, also the hot and popular video models...

The Chris Rock trailer has Chris Rock, Raven Simone (for previous Disney lovers), etc.

Then there is the 2nd Joy Daily video in which she talks about Wale, also popular right now...plus images of sexy video models...pictures of Wale with Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton (young white superstars).

Singer India Arie would usually appeal to the older crowd because she is usually more Neo-soul (and acoustic guitar) than Pop, however this video features rapper Akon, who is extremely popular right now (and has been for the past 5yrs).

I actually think the video of the woman in her thirties speaking about dating and marriage would probably be what turns the kids off...but it certainly does speak to adults!

In other words, these images speak directly to most American children! These are the images that they live with every single day! They worship most of these people! They watch BET, MTV, if they have Time Warner Cable, they can watch most music videos for free, and then there is Youtube and Myspace!

Also see "The Light-Skinned vs. Dark-Skinned Battle: Who's winning it?"

"Complexion Obsession"

My comments about “Complexion Obsession”:
I hardly ever watch music videos but in the past, I have noticed that there's a difference in how much face time they give to the dark-skinned girls in the videos...they might get 1.5 seconds per shot compared to the lighter-skinned girl who may get 3-5 seconds. Then the light-skinned girls always get the close-ups/glamour shots. I'll be like, ok...why did they even put the dark-skinned girl in the video?

Chris Rock’s Documentary “Good Hair”

Video I like from youtube user:

Definitely thumbs up on this one!! I think she is not only intelligent, but wise!

From DimeWars.com:

My thoughts:
As I mentioned earlier, Joy Daily overlooked an important piece in this segment of "Complexion Obsession." She states that Wale is trying to market his music to black people, but that is not the absolute truth. In fact, in other parts of her documentary, she interviews industry people who try to explain that lighter-skinned black women (and non-black women) are being used more widely in rap music videos to make the videos more marketable to a wider audience... So that means not just black people, but whites, hispanics, etc. I don't believe he was trying to market the video to black people or else he would have had more black women in it. I do think that he is following a paper trail and that he just expects black women to be okay with it. However, he is featured in Wacka Flocka's "No Hands" which showcases mostly black women, and way more dark-skinned black women than average. So in his music career, I guess there's a balance when it comes to this specific issue. But one thing we can do is compare the lyrics to both of those songs and see if the reason for the change is more than just coincidence... :-(

Youtube Playlist - Skin Color Issues, Colorism, Light Skin vs. Dark Skin

This playlist features mostly video documentaries which address the issue of colorism/shadeism within and outside of the black community. I have compiled them here for anyone who would like to know more about the topic... Colorism or Shadeism is discrimination based on skin shade/skin tone vs. discrimination based on race/ethnicity. In other words, the light-skinned vs. dark-skinned controversy... I haven't even watched all of them in entirety because the content can be overwhelming...

Just press play then scroll over the video with your mouse to pick a video. Use the arrows to pull up more videos in the list.

Video from the Video-Vixen Summit:

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4TrD_AcQnM

2. http://youtu.be/tJj1Sjs6kQo

Multi-colored music videos I liked:

1. Waka Flocka Flame "No Hands" (really fair images). Now as for the song, I have no idea what he’s talking about! But I think it has something to do with women working in the sex industry.

2. Beyonce "Freakum Dress"

Other notable music videos:

1. India Arie "I Am Not My Hair"

2. Keri Hilson "Pretty Girl Rock"

Poems about having dark skin:

Part 1: Why did you make me black Lord?

Part 2: God’s Reply

Black In Latin America

Watch the full episode. See more Black in Latin America.
This is a preview for a four part series.

Willie Lynch Letter:



Other Articles:
Uptown Magazine: Skin Deep

Natural Haircare Websites:

As I Am


Miss Jessie’s



  1. After viewing the blog and its contents in entirety, I would like to know your overall impression!

    Did you get a chance to watch all the videos I posted? It's 4 you can watch on here then 6 more you can go to youtube.com and watch. Try to watch all 10 in a row then let me know what you think!

    It should take most people about 1hr to watch all 10 videos, read the two poems, then read the Willie Lynch Letter and it's description on Wikipedia. The natural haircare sites are just for fun, an fyi, etc.


    1. Have you been exposed to media content like this before?
    a.)Never b.)Rarely c.)Moderately d.)Often

    2. What were some of your feelings and thoughts after viewing all of the content?

    3. As you reflect on your experience, which content stands out most in your mind?

    4. Would you feel comfortable using this information as a teaching tool for children and adults? Why or why not?

    Feel free to email me your answer --> meeshe011@aol.com

  2. I found a new video clip! It's really good...very serious and saddening: Clips from the upcoming documentary exploring the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color---particularly dark skinned women, outside of and within the Black American culture. http://vimeo.com/24155797

  3. Wow! I must say that more information about this topic keeps falling in my lap! I really like this article from Rev. Michael Waters of Dallas, TX. The article is really factual...tells the cold hard truth, and is really uplifting as well.


  4. The link to a discussion about this article on Huffington Post's FB page:


  5. Another documentary called "Shadeism" which explores skin color issues in cultures outside of the United States.


    This documentary short is an introduction to the issue of shadeism, the discrimination that exists between the lighter-skinned and darker-skinned members of the same community. This documentary short looks specifically at how it affects young womyn within the African, Caribbean, and South Asian diasporas. Through the eyes and words of 5 young womyn and 1 little girl - all females of colour - the film takes us into the thoughts and experiences of each.

    For more information related to shadeism/colorism/skin-color discrimination, please see these links:


    It has been reported that Skin whitening products sales grew from $40 to $43 billion in 2008.


  6. i just wanna tell u that i like ur blog,but one thing i dont like is the girls u described as dark skinned are not even dark wtf .that really got me mad becuse im a sudanese girl and we got the darkest skins in africa .when i came to the states all people could do is make fun of my skin color plus if i was the same colored as them girls u put up there no one will say anything to me cus thta one right there is not black at all .they are just mixed not pure black skin

  7. Hi Undiscovered Beauty,

    Thanks for your comments! I realized after I published that I didn't get the darkest women in the spectrum, however for the purpose of this blog, their darkness will do... Most people would describe these women as dark-skinned, even if they are not the darkest available...especially when you consider light vs. dark...if your skin is the color of milk chocolate or dark chocolate, people consider you to be dark...Naomi Campbell, dark...Lauryn Hill, dark... Kelly Rowland...these are consider to be the darker skinned black women even though darker exist... I think you would like the movie, "Dark Girls" on Vimeo.com....see the links in my comments above. The bottom line...they're all darker than a paper bag...1 study reports that black ppl come in 32 different shades...but how many of us spend time trying to categorize all those different colors...I think 3 categories are basic enough to teach the differences...

  8. Another thing, people are mistaken when they judge the percentage of genetic racial mixture a person has by their outward appearance...the outward appearance is the phenotype, not the genotype...only an person's genes, their DNA, can tell the whole story. In other words, you might have more racial mixture in your background than someone a few shades lighter than you! Also, sometimes these genes "skip generations," and two dark-skinned parents can have a child that's lighter than both of them...that's why several children within the same family who all have the same parents, might all be different shades. What you are witnessing when u examine someone's skin color is not the whole story...it is just the way those genes were expressed in that individual, the phenotype, not the genotype.

  9. Found another vid...
    "A Girl Like Me" -
    "Color is more than skin deep for young African-American women struggling to define themselves."


    For more information about this film and to take action visit: