I partook in a conversation this morning with one of my favorite Facebook friends about the light skin vs. dark skin agenda among black women. After a slight back and forth exchange about beauty and the struggle of dark skin women feeling beautiful in our society, my friend expressed to me how she witnessed light skin women attacking dark skin women because of their appearance. I proceeded to let her know as a light skin/bi-racial woman myself, I have never or would ever make such offensive comments about darker skinned women. We both agreed that this problem essentially weakens the empowerment movement of “Black Girl Magic.”
Although I’m well aware that at times the opinions of men seem to quickly take a toll on black women, especially when some of these negative statements are coming from our own black men, overcoming the negativity through confidence is important. Nevertheless, many of them feel it’s okay to say derogatory comments because of the way black women have attacked each other. Granted I see so much unity amongst black women, but I also see us tearing each other down. We talk about each other’s hair, skin, sexual behaviors and parenting as if these things should not have an impact on our feelings. Just yesterday on my favorite app, Twitter, a young lady tweeted out how Megan Good was a “whore” that married a pastor and all it did was make her a married “whore.” Why do we say things like this about each other? I’m not saying that white women or Latinas don’t attack each other, however as black women we are already being attacked by outsiders, why should we turn and do it to ourselves?
The solution to this weakness is quite simple in my opinion, so simple that it seems impossible to achieve. With strength and power within ourselves we must unite. Black women need to tell each other that we are beautiful. African American women need to express that our sexual decisions are our own and have no right to be judged or scrutinized let alone publicized to strangers. We need to voice to one another that we are great mothers, whether we are doing it alone or with a partner. Women have to convey we are capable, we can achieve and we can change other’s outlook on us! We can’t demand respect from others until we express respect to one another. It’s so important at this point that we show love to ourselves. Self-love is important for every woman to possess, no matter the race, religion or skin tone, we must first love ourselves. Don’t depend on black men to give us our worth. Yes a black man came from a black woman but at the same time we know men have their own views on black women because of their mothers and sisters. Don’t hold yourself to one person’s standards or views. How do you view yourself? Yes many treasure us, but there are some who rip us and we cannot let that destroy our self-made magic. The saying “Queens uplift Kings” is very true, but we need more “Queens uplifting Queens.” Stop fighting and belittling each other’s experience because at the end of the day we share in being African-American women. We all struggle with acceptance and respect in the work place. We all demand respect in the classroom. We all want respect from the men who want to be with us. Same struggles and same ambitions to change the world.
We have the power to bestow our magic on future generations of young black women as long as we don’t extinguish it with cruelty and pettiness.
Written by : Bianca Vasquez