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Dark skinned black women

She is just one of many black women who told me that black men were judging their potential as a suitable romantic partner by the hue of their skin tone. Growing up I was very aware that if you had light eyes, long wavy hair, fair skin… basically anything the opposite of my thick full afro and brown skin, you were going to get far more male attention. Decades later, my journey has revealed not enough has changed. A quick search of the issues online produces many headlines, and there are high profile personalities who are accused of insulting and making fun of dark skin black women. Black professional Amina believes the men she has grown up with were exposed to a very European, Caucasian aesthetic in the media, which has meant they find it easier to relate to women who have lighter skin tones. Is she right? Or could the answers be buried deeper in black consciousness? I met a psychotherapist who runs a group for black women. Dawn Estefan says historical factors are to blame. At this point I have a slightly awkward question to put to you.
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As Kanye West reminded us a few days ago, colorism is alive and well. Race matters, even within communities of color. While West has since tried to walk back his tweet, this most recent controversy has reignited debates about skin tone, blackness and bias in communities of color. For those of us whose skin color is closer to a double shot cappuccino or darker, the latest indignity from Kanye West — himself a dark-skinned black man — is a painful reminder of the continuing degradation directed at dark-skinned black women and the rejection of black beauty. Because the truth of it is, skin color still matters, even within our communities. And colorism — the bias or prejudice that exists within a particular racial or ethnic group against those with a darker skin — is still pervasive — both in the African-American and Latino communities. Growing up in Puerto Rico, I was the darkest of four siblings. The only black characters in the beloved telenovelas that the island tuned in to every evening were maids or cooks. Whiteness and western standards of beauty were celebrated, blackness and Afrocentrism were not. Even when Latinos are black, they may still deny their blackness.
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Dark skin is a human skin color that is rich in melanin pigments, especially eumelanin. The evolution of dark skin is believed to have begun around 1. In the heat of the savannas, better cooling mechanisms were required, which were achieved through the loss of body hair and development of more efficient perspiration. The loss of body hair led to the development of dark skin pigmentation, which acted as a mechanism of natural selection against folate depletion, and to a lesser extent, DNA damage. The primary factor contributing to the evolution of dark skin pigmentation was the breakdown of folate in reaction to ultraviolet radiation ; the relationship between folate breakdown induced by ultraviolet radiation and reduced fitness as a failure of normal embryogenesis and spermatogenesis led to the selection of dark skin pigmentation. By the time modern Homo sapiens evolved, all humans were dark-skinned. Humans with dark skin pigmentation have skin naturally rich in melanin especially eumelanin , and have more melanosomes which provide a superior protection against the deleterious effects of ultraviolet radiation. This helps the body to retain its folate reserves and protects against damage to the DNA. Dark-skinned people who live in high latitudes with mild sunlight are at an increased risk — especially in the winter — of vitamin D deficiency. As a consequence of vitamin D deficiency, they are at a higher risk of developing rickets , and numerous types of cancers, and possibly cardiovascular disease and low immune system activity.
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As Kanye West reminded us a few days ago, colorism is alive and well. Race matters, even within communities of color. While West has since tried to walk back his tweet, this most recent controversy has reignited debates about skin tone, blackness and bias in communities of color. For those of us whose skin color is closer to a double shot cappuccino or darker, the latest indignity from Kanye West — himself a dark-skinned black man — is a painful reminder of the continuing degradation directed at dark-skinned black women and the rejection of black beauty.

Because the truth of it is, skin color still matters, even within our communities. And colorism — the bias or prejudice that exists within a particular racial or ethnic group against those with a darker skin — is still pervasive — both in the African-American and Latino communities. Growing up in Puerto Rico, I was the darkest of four siblings.

The only black characters in the beloved telenovelas that the island tuned in to every evening were maids or cooks. Whiteness and western standards of beauty were celebrated, blackness and Afrocentrism were not. Even when Latinos are black, they may still deny their blackness. Within my large extended family some of whom are as black as I am , blackness was not something to be acknowledged, let alone embraced. Still today, anti-blackness permeates Puerto Rican culture, with the majority of Puerto Ricans on the island Only Slightly more than half, 53 percent, identify as white only, while 2.

Brazilians, for example, describe themselves in different skin tones , including amarela-queimada burnt yellow , canela cinnamon and morena-bem-chegada very nearly brown. Since moving to the U.

African-Americans, meanwhile acknowledge my skin color, but have at times questioned whether I am really black, given my Puerto Rican heritage — as though the two are mutually exclusive. Colorism has been with us for a long time, and is part of the legacy of slavery and white supremacy that has infected black and Latino communities.

The only way we will ever eradicate it is if we confront it, talk about it and advance strategies to combat it. My husband and I have worked hard to make sure that our young son embraces and is proud of his African-American and Latino roots and that he is grounded in the history of race and colorism — both here and in Puerto Rico. It is impossible to combat white racism and fight against white supremacy while ignoring the ways that we perpetuate our own systems of racial stratification. She has spent her career working as an advocate, community organizer and lawyer.

Up Next. Skin color matters more than ethnicity when your skin is dark. Up Next From Culture. Twitter Facebook Email. I know whereof I speak. I am a black Latina married to an African-American man. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.

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