Dark Like Us

When I was a little girl I was blissfully unaware that my skin tone was supposed to be a negative thing. In my eyes my skin was dark and comely, like that of the people I loved the most. I was dark like my Mama, who I idolized, watching with adoration as she lined her round dark eyes with kohl. I was dark like my father, his intense gaze looking back at me from his Marine portrait. And I was dark like my beloved Grandma, her skin so smooth and deep that it looked like that of someone from Southern Sudan; her face an image of perfection that never cracked. The love and loyalty given to me by my Mama and Grandma would cause me to link darkness to love, warmth and belonging. Years later those early childhood images would be replaced by the messages of internalized white supremacy. My love of my darkness would contort into shame, loathing and pain. I would have to fight valiantly to get back to the mentality I had as a child. I’m grateful to be there.

Posted by

A native Seattleite and recent East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been. I reside in the suburbs of NYC with my husband, daughter, and our two feisty but deeply loved cats.

One thought on “Dark Like Us

  1. “In my eyes my skin was dark and comely, like that of the people I loved the most. ” — so sweet.

    I am so sorry this was shattered. But it’s good to see you fighting for the initial mentality.

Leave a Reply