Loving your body is crucial for Black empowerment. However, the eurocentric history of whiteness has created a false system of racial hierarchy that affects how some of us love our skin today.
It was no coincidence that in the 1920s during the Harlem Renaissance, the “New Negro” was marketed with the message that a near-white complexion resulted in a better life. The facade contributed to our people practicing skin whitening across Harlem, and across the globe.
Today, colorism most heavily affects women. Over half of women report discrimination based on their skin tone, and women with deeper tones experience everything from racial slurs to denial of promotions.
It’s time to disburse from the traditional eurocentric narrative that encourages skin whitening as a way to improve socioeconomic status. Black is beautiful across every shade and in every way.