It’s widely known that slave masters psychologically divided their slaves in order to conquer them and minimize chances rebellion. One of the main facets of that division was pitting people against each other based on complexion. Light skin slaves were seen as better than dark skin slaves and often had less strenuous jobs, as they weren’t bound to fields and doing backbreaking labor. They were also considered more attractive because most likely they were closer to being White.
One of the most popular methods of teaching this divisive behavior was created by Willie Lynch, a British slave owner in the West Indies, who came to United States to advise American slave owners how to keep their slaves restrained, according to an essay in Brother Man: The Odyssey of Black Men in America- an Anthology.
Several centuries later, the actions of several people in the Black community still show that we are simple enough to fall victim to the hype. Enter the Columbus, Ohio promoters who thought it was a good idea to create a Light Skin vs. Dark Skin party.
In some perverted way this post is extra promotion for their party, which is probably why they created such an egregious event because let’s face it, controversy sells, but it’s a travesty that anyone would think this is a good idea. What’s even worse is that the party takes place on January 21, right on the heels of Martin Luther King Day.
This is a topic that won’t ever die because people refuse to stop being ignorant as evidenced by Twitter hashtags for the party like #teamlightskin and #teamdarkskin, where people were feuding and trying to prove who was better based on skin color, and if you do various YouTube searches on the topic you will pull up thousands of results pertaining to the subject⎯some ignorant some thoughtful and poignant but in general, people still don’t see how ridiculous, disuniting, psychologically damaging and superficial it is to think that the color of one’s skin makes them better or lesser than anyone but I digress. The bottom line is if you can’t free yourself from toxic thinking then you will always be a slave. ⎯Starrene Rhett (@GangStarrGirl)