MUNIRAH

When did you first realize colorism existed? I was five years old. I was in the store with my mother and two younger sisters. Our baby sister is very fair skinned. People complimented how pretty she was and never acknowledged me and my middle sister.

How has colorism affected your dating experiences? I have always been attracted to dark skin Black men. Because of our history in this country, for a long time I thought it wrong to even entertain attraction to anyone outside of my ethnic group. I was raised to love my own, celebrate my own. In the last ten years, I have opened up more about dating outside my ethnic group. Experience and time have helped abridge those apprehensions.

How does your culture handle colorism?I believe the Black community is reclaiming its color spectrum and letting go of our past sins. Back people are far harder on one another more than others when it comes to colorism. A lot of it is post traumatic slavery generational behavior. Those of us who know must continue to celebrate us and be patient with the rest of our community.

How do you feel your color is represented by the media? Black is currently the flavor of the month. Everyone wants to be of color til they have to be of color. They enjoy the capitalism gain, the culture and celebration of our color but ignore the adversities, handicaps and shortcomings society gives those of us of color.

Do you think the representation has an effect on you and others around you? How does it make you feel and how do you think other people view you as a result of it? I do not like the hyocrisy of it. It has a great impact on my community. People of non color see tanning, plastic surgery and culture swapping as a choice. They do not understand the burdens nor strife that come with being born like this. It feels like a great disrespect.

What does colorism look like today? There are still those definite color lines but the embracing of self love is gaining momentum. People are becoming more open to learning about other’s and respecting their cultures, not simply mimicking.

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