Deranda Butler says she wants fellow African-Americans to stop judging her and her friend by the shade of her black skin.
Far too many times have I heard people tell my friend Sara she’s “pretty for a dark skinned girl.” Or how about the many times during black history month when I get the heart cutting remarks about how light skinned people had nothing to worry about during segregation and that I would have been a well-protected house slave, simply because I am a light skinned. How crazy is that — being judged so strongly by people of my own race!
We love to address ourselves as a “black community,” yet we are quite divided within it. After all the boycotts, bloodshed, tears, sit-ins and marches for equality, here we are, judging each other based on what shade of black we are.
No matter how dark or light we are, all African Americans check the same boxes on standardized tests and job applications that say, “African American” or “Black non -Hispanic”. There is no box that acknowledges light skinned and dark skinned people so why do we do it? Dr. King was right when he said people should not be judged by color but by the content of their character. And until black people learn to put our own physical differences aside, people like Sara and myself will always be prejudged based on the shades of our complexion.