Welcome to the University of Cape Town!
It’s a beautiful campus with beautiful people (especially the women, anyone who knows me understands how happy beautiful African women make me).
Anywho, I am lucky enough to be in small classes with some of these beautiful women and had a very interesting conversation after one of my courses yesterday evening. A classmate from Zimbabwe asked me if colorism within the African American community is as serious as people make it out to be. She said “I mean are there really preferences of lighter skin women over darker skin women? Surely this is an exaggeration!”
Well internet friends, what is a girl to say? I personally have never suffered from a complex because of my dark skin, but have been around the most GORGEOUS women who unfortunately have, and after attending a historically black university, I actually realized that it was a SERIOUS dilemma in the black community. A dilemma that of course comes from slavery and has resulted in the unfortunate binaries of dark skin and light skin people. One group being more beautiful while the other is well, the “other”.
Not to bore you with the historical implications of this color complex, there are plenty of books describing the dynamics of African American race politics that yall can read (The Color Complex: The Politics of Skin Color Among African Americans by Kathy Russell is a “page turner” lol).
What was REALLY interesting was my African classmates fear and dread that this color complex is moving into the South African community through the dissemination of rap and hip hop music and music videos. To put it plainly, so many young South Africans are listening to Lil Wayne and other coons who speak about yellow bone this and light skin that, that now this affinity for women of lighter complexions, or the culturally ambiguous women is being blindly spread across international waters.
My classmate insisted that “We [black south africans] NEVER separated ourselves according to skin tone, we were too unified against apartheid to care about that kind of thing. We are all BLACK South Africans. But now when you go to Johannesburg, guys are openly proclaiming their love for only women with light skin, blond weaves, and big asses. What is this? They think they are in a music video? This has never been a part of our culture!”
Scary to think that our racial insecurities are polluting the cultures of others. Shame.