“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
Mocha Latte - Light
"Light-skinned" "Fair-skinned" "High-Yellow" "Red Bone" "Yellow Bone" "White"
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?"
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!
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:
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:
Poems about having dark skin:
Part 1: Why did you make me black Lord?
Part 2: God’s Reply
Black In Latin America
Willie Lynch Letter:
Uptown Magazine: Skin Deep
Natural Haircare Websites: