Colourism is definitely a thing, especially, in the public eye vs from a fan’s perspective kind of thing. Singer-songwriter Tinashe (whom is one of our dear Twitter friends) recently sat down with The Guardian for an interview about everything from her career; blackness, and how she’s been discriminated against in the Hollywood-music scene.
This is where it gets interesting. Most of Tinashe ‘s interview is pretty standard, but, one particular cut-out from the interview sees Tinashe declare that she “openly identified as a mixed Black woman”. The issue? She says in part that the African American /Black Community in America doesn’t “fully embrace her” because she’s not “dark enough”.
We’ve all heard it before, the obsessive light skinned vs dark skinned argument that more often than not still plagues things like Black Twitter (yes, that’s a thing). In Tinashe ‘s case, she in the eye of well allot, is considered a light skinned woman and from that starting standpoint may not related to the troubles and hardships faced by those who may not (we asked one Twitter to describe Tinashe in one word, she said privileged) relate with her privilege to those who don’t and have never experienced the extraordinary things Tinashe has.
The problem many aren’t seeing here, is, that even though Tinashe is “light skinned” she’s no lesser blacker than the next person who is “colored” or in this case: black. In modern America, simply being Tinashe ‘s skin colour is grounds for “black-discrimination” hands down. We’re different; we’re all one, skin colour does not define a person’s struggles or triumphs.
Although in truth-be-told-reality, it has unfortunately defined most of our histories. Just because Tinashe is “lighter” does that mean she’s not allowed to be told “she’s pretty for a light skinned girl’? How is that any different from a dark skinned girl being told “Oh, for a dark skinned girl yeah you’re pretty”. It’s not different. She gets discriminated against for the way she looks, just, like we do.
Now let’s be frank, Tinashe, probably hasn’t had much of a hard life. That’s just the aura that she gives off; an honest appearance and vibe that collectively sort of addresses the obvious: that she’s always been sort of privileged. We all have. Unless you were born before about 1995, racism in modern America is no where near like it used to be 50 years ago. Stop being a chicken shit. We have it easy, compared to blacks and people of colour from 50 years ago.
ON BEING A MIXED BLACK YOUNG WOMAN: “There’s colourism involved in the black community, which is very apparent. It’s about trying to find a balance where I’m a mixed woman, and sometimes I feel like I don’t fully fit into the black community; they don’t fully accept me, even though I see myself as a black woman. That disconnect is confusing sometimes.”
Our point? Stop judging. The minuscule issues like someone’s skin color, damn sure don’t define who they are, so why should they be allowed to define the struggle we allow ourselves to take on together? Why is there such a divide that someone isn’t allowed/is allowed to do a certain something based on their race?
We have to understand that someone shade of blackness shouldn’t be defined by their skin tone. It’s one of our biggest struggles, allot of us, feel that our color is truthfully a ticket to forever feel locked away in a deeply troubling room drowned in hatred; cruelty, and outright mistreatment. With that mantra, where does that leave the rest of us?
There is no I in team.