For the last 5 years, every time I went to visit my aunt, there was this hauntingly beautiful painting of a woman in every shade of brown you could imagine. She was dark brown, light brown, coffee, mocha, chestnut, and everything in between. She represented a black woman and the various skin tones that you find in black people. She was stunning. From the moment that I saw her, I knew she had to be mine.
Jamaal Stafford is the wonderful artist that created this painting and I thought it was so beautiful that he decided to show women that no matter what the color of your skin is, we are all beautiful. Colorism is an issue that plagues the black community and often times pits “light skin” against “dark skin”. Colorism is the idea that white skin or lighter skin is superior to darker skin. We all know that this notion is not true but for several cultures, especially black people in America, this idea has become fact.
On Sunday, June 23, Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network will debut the documentary Dark Girls by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry, which originally premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011. Dark Girls examines the lives and experiences of dark-skinned women in America and Latin America and the racism, classism, and prejudices they experience within their own communities.