Letting color go….for alh, and damn……..that leona lewis bitch, too…

“I call this one, ‘Miss Celie’s Blues’….cuz she scratched my head when I’s was ailin’…”

Dark skinned broads of the universe; failers of paper bag tests worldwide—

We owe our redboned counterparts an apology.

For hating.

You heard me.

Fine, fine.

I can sense your reticence.

I’ll kick it off.

Good Afternoon. My name is Fooler. And I owe a gang of lightskinned bitches, and bitches with baby hair, thick, long, luxurious hair, and crazy, funky, wild spirally hair an apology.

Alla y’all.

Now, take heart. This apology comes years upon years after the discovery of my hater-antics. But, I never issued a formal apology, and—well, now seems as good a time as any.

Lightskinned bitches, and bitches with baby hair, thick, long, luxurious hair, and crazy, funky, wild spirally hair—you all are not the enemy. You never have been. Some of you all are dimes, some of you all are treasure trolls. The exact genetic predeterminates of your beauty or fugliness is frankly, none of my business.

I bore you all so much animus for so many years, adjusting my ire and contempt only  when the inclusion of a new lightskinned, baby haired/thick,long,luxurious haired, crazy,funky,wild spirally-haired bitch in my friendship circle necessitated an exception.

And, for the longest time, it entirely escaped my attention that your numbers in my friendship ranks were beginning to swell; that I had surrounded myself in a veritable sea of amazing women who defied every loosely-constructed stereotype my own ignorance wouldn’t allow me to view as false.

Similarly escaping my attention was the fact that I am, in fact, cute as a motherfucker. Seriously. I’m on some cute shit. I have some true cuteness going on all up in my face space.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let me take you back.

My mother—my amazing, can do everything in this world mother–grew up dirt poor in  a town with an unrecognizable name in Nowheresville, North Carolina. Her particular melanin composite never garnered her any popularity contests in those days, and when she married my father, a man whose hue was identical to hers, she suspected any children of theirs’ wouldn’t fare much different.

According to my mother, the people of her town, her peers, and virtually everyone with whom she had any significant contact, was “color struck.” Most Blacks, grappling with our own identities, replete with the psycho-socio far-reaching implications of second class citizenry, had turned our attentions inward, and set about creating hierarchies within our own ranks; where education and affluence wouldn’t suffice to separate us, fairness of skin would suit just fine.

The lighter (and by proxy, more White-looking) the better.

When I came around, my mother took proactive steps in making certain that I never felt the dejection that she’d experienced as a child.

Lightskinned girls were no better than me. Girls with hair that brushed their hips had to come home at night and wash their little stankin asses just like I did. If a boy preferred another girl to me, he only liked her because she was lightskinned. If the boy I liked didn’t like me back, who was he, oh, that lightskinned boy? *insert eye roll*.

My mother was trying to prepare me for the “color struck” world at large.

But, all the while, she was making me “color struck.” Stuck hating on lightskinned bitches who had a gang of hair, and absolutely nothing the fuck to do with me.

I love my mother, and all that she tried to do for me. She inspired confidence where there otherwise would have been none. And maybe sometimes a boy I liked had a preference for lightskinned girls. But you know what? Maybe sometimes a boy I liked didn’t have a particular fondness for chunky bitches with a lotta mouth and a sad, sad proclivity for Karl Kani jeans.

The truth of the matter is, whether the world at large thinks that fairer skinned women are more attractive has little bearing on my own reception.

The truth of the matter is, I should only be focusing on me. On whether my toenails are painted; whether my elbows are ashy; whether my upper lip is a replica of Tom Selleck’s.

My crew of girls, dark and light, alike, aren’t divided among color lines with respect to heartache; they’ve all known it in equal measure.

My crew of girls, dark and light, alike, aren’t divided among color lines with respect to their loyalty to me and nourishment of our friendship; they’ve all born my monkey idiosyncrasies with casually amused dismissal.

And men—the truth about them is, if they’re with you, they’re with you. If a man likes you, he likes you for you. The end.

Sure, maybe he wishes he could skim a few pounds off of your carb-indulgent, though steadfastly determined to rock a two piece ass, but– if he likes you, he likes you.

Granted, maybe he wishes you’d given a bit more forethought to that upper arm or upper titty tat you were so insistent on getting at 18, and now your ridiculous ass is 30 and relegated to a life of long sleeves and turtlenecks, but—if he likes you, he likes you.

He doesn’t wish he had a lightskinned, long-haired bitch in your stead. He likes you.

(Now, don’t be a dumb bitch. Please bear in mind that he will fuck her, too. If he isn’t shit, he probably won’t shy too far away from fucking her in addition to you. But that’s not the point. The point is, that for whatever fraction of attention space he has designated to you, your black, monkey ass is what he wants.)

And me—my own personal truth—is that I can’t think of one instance when a lightskinned, baby haired/thick,long,luxurious haired, crazy,funky,wild spirally-haired bitch maligned me. Not one. Remonica Jenkins—black as coal. Any collegiate issues I had with women—all my complexion or darker (except that one time, and really, she wasn’t at fault at all. Oh no, wait. There was one. Damn. I STILL hate that bitch. Okay, so that’s one. Really though. One).

But I can think of a hundred times when my 5 re-assured me;  a thousand when my girl, “Law School Logan” held my crazy ass down; a million when a particularly new trio of beauties amped up my blog and encouraged me to keep writing; and an infinite number still when the woman who inspired this post (not Leona Lewis, geniuses) listened to my troubled meanderings, withholding judgment in favor of support.

The point is that I, for one, am done. I am long done.

My matriculation to adulthood has seen Halle Berry get beat by two men and made a black fool of by one, Vanessa Williams get married twice and left with a hundred children to raise all by her lonesome, Stacey Dash take an asswhooping her damned self, Rhianna get stomped unconscious in a Lamborghini (a feat I didn’t even know possible), and Leona Lewis get slapped the shit out of in public by a complete stranger.

My mocha-colored juvenile angst put so many bad vibes into the Universe, I’m starting to feel halfway responsible for some of that shit.

So, for all of the unnecessary hating—

For the animus rooted in my own insecurities, and reinforced by societal standards of beauty that I so enthusiastically took to heart–

And damn, for Leona Lewis, who I gotta believe didn’t deserve that open fist to the mouth—

I apologize.

Come on, brown broads—

I know someone else has some “I’m sorrys” to go around, too.


(not to mention every lightskinned broad that is dominating my universe now, but….lol…lessssssssst y’all get at me….i’ve reserved mad love for a freckled nigerian, a fashion savvy cropped coiffed beauty who Baltimore has stolen from me, and, as always…….the timeless……”natalie.” [note which name i put in quotes…cause your real name is sometimes your fake name])


11 Responses to “Letting color go….for alh, and damn……..that leona lewis bitch, too…”

  1. 1 sourpatchkid
    June 8, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    another awesome post, fooler. and to be honest with you — i’ve known a lot of light skinned folk who have had the same outlook/attitude/whatever you want to call it towards other light skinned folk. almost in an effort to disassociate themselves, or “prove their blackness,” i dunno. shit, i’m light skinned my damn self and i have often shared a lot of your same sentiments. race and skin color is so effin complicated and ingrained in our minds and history as a people, regardless of how progressive and socially conscious we are or how we have been raised to be. i appreciate you blogging on such a touchy subject and bringing humor to it. you’re the shit, fooler.

  2. 2 saranah holmes
    June 9, 2010 at 1:56 am

    There’s always two sides to the color coin. Thanks for the shout out btw-if indeed I read into it correctly 🙂 anyhoo- take one light skin girl and mix her up with all dark skin beautiful, savvy, popular, rhythm having, black music knowing cousins and you’ve got some serious wanna be darker angst. There’s a reason we tan. At least no one will ever confuse you for a white woman and thereby disregard the dark man who gave you life and who you feel connected to as if he were a limb. MY apologies for the ONE.

  3. June 9, 2010 at 6:47 am

    I was definitely never a hater of “light-skinned-ed” people, so I have nothing to be sorry for. That makes me happy :p. Great post, Fooler

  4. 4 DICooper
    June 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I’m waiting for someone to bait Fooler with “how cute?” In the meantime, I’ll amuse myself with this gem: “Maybe sometimes a boy I liked didn’t have a particular fondness for chunky bitches with a lotta mouth…” I know there is going to be at least one or two brothers that takes that bait too.

    Other (black) women, take note: if you want attention, then start a smart blog. Smart brothers (and dumb brothers too) will come out of nowhere and everywhere just to check it a few times a week. I don’t have any kids but if my daughter ever asks what she can do to get a man I’m going to be like start a blog with some Talented Tenth content and enough five dollar words to call out your desired demographic.

    And for the record, I’m almost the same color as my shadow in the picture and my hair is as nappy as any Nigerian with six generations in America but it is easy to apologize now, Fooler, because being light skinned isn’t in style. I know I’m old and all that, but wait until they get back in style and see if you can muster the same apology. 1988 was real tight on dark folks. Oh, and I mean to say that light skinned black folks are most definitely coming back into fashion, but carry on…

  5. June 9, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    i used to have a color complex before i realized that busted comes in all hues.

  6. 6 Jiro
    June 10, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    “Similarly escaping my attention was the fact that I am, in fact, cute as a motherfucker. Seriously. I’m on some cute shit. I have some true cuteness going on all up in my face space.”

    Wait … Are you a 7 or not? *laughs*

  7. 7 8isgr8
    June 11, 2010 at 3:07 am

    I don’t know if I’m ready to let it go yet fooler. I, too, am dark and have felt slighted by color struck people. I went natural last year, and to my grave disappointment, it turns out I’m not secretly mixed or 1/4 Cherokee or otherwise genetically predisposed to good hair. So every “lightskinned bitch, and bitch with baby hair, thick, long, luxurious hair, and crazy, funky, wild spirally hair” bears the brunt of my frustration with the unrelenting nappiness of my hair. I’m trying to work through it, but every time I make progress another one of my friends who never should’ve had a perm in the first place “goes natural” only to discover drop curls that make my heart collapse on itself and I go right back to being hateful.

    You continue to fight the good fight for this nappy headed hoe though, I may not get there with you…

  8. 10 Jiro
    June 13, 2010 at 1:13 am

    I really don’t mean to minimize anyone’s feelings of hate, I guess we are all entitled to feel like life has somehow shorted us. The problem is that when it comes to issues that are tied to race it is very difficult for anyone to be at their most rational because that shit is so utterly and intrinsically complicated. We can look at slavery and say foul. Jim crow was just fucked up, but this institutionalized socio-cultural cruft always creeps dangerously close to conspiracy theory. If you are looking for it, you will see it everywhere. I realize I can be just as guilty of that, so I am not being self-righteous here.

    I recently had drinks with an “old friend.” She is very very brown. As we sat there eating sushi and drinking sake she began to bemoan the “fact” that dark-skinned men were not attracted to her so people unjustly accused her of being color struck. No, I am not light by any stretch of the imagination. Mostly Ethiopians and Indians (east) try to claim me, if that gives you any idea. The thing is, this lack of interest from darker men really angers her. She feels as though they are obviously color-struck and violating her civil rights and shit. Obviously. We didn’t even get into how she felt about the kind of women she assumed they liked instead of her.

    I called bullshit on her anger. I told her people like what they like. She’s below average height but she likes very tall men. No, I am not tall. I am just short of 5’10”. I pointed out that there were lots of short men that have to listen to women go on and on about how a dude got to be tall, and when they are in heels, blah, blah, fucking blah. Now if some dude called foul on this and got mad at tall men, everyone would die laughing at his vertically challenged ass. How is this any different than skin color?

    To me, when it comes to personal attraction it is just that, personal. I can appreciate your mother lending a hand with your confidence. She’s your mother, that’s like her job and shit, but beyond childhood I am not feeling this self-righteous shit unless the same person is willing to be open to dating absolutely any person that shows some interest. It just comes off as so narcissistic when people are mad at other people for things that the other people could not control and assume that those other people do not have equally confounding personal struggles of their own.

    So I pointed out to this “friend” that, one, she is always making very aggressive facial expressions. Two, she hands down has the smartest ass mouth of any woman I know. Not only that she has a list of dating ‘nevers’ that is about as close to ridiculous as you can get without actually being so. Most of this list is based on plain and simple prejudice.

    The thing I realized but did not say to her, is that when she ‘came’ for me she actually smiled, and she has a beautiful smile. Not only that she still had a smart ass mouth but she altered and curbed it just long enough to get me in bed with her. You see, when she saw some boy ass that she ‘really’ wanted all of a sudden she stopped feeling sorry for herself and just did what she had to do. Also, when I asked her if I was color-struck, she laughed and said, “No you are just wishy washy!” *laughs* You see, she got a smart ass mouth. Also, you may notice that I am nothing like what she is attracted to: tall and lighter skinned. Our bedding is easily a story of her temporary transcendence. *smirk*

    Sorry, I don’t really have a point or a real question. I just have observations and opinions, and in that the internets enable me. I think you are awesome. Your blog is hands down the best non-technical blog I have ever read.

  9. June 27, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    ha! “Elephant in the Room, meet Black People.” “Black People, please say allo to Mr. Elephant.” Thanks for your blog sis (a friend of mine just sent me a link to your post, “dear potential client” and I am still rolling. Super honest AND piss-yo-pants funny. You had me at “She refused to watch her TONE.” 0x

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a history of my meanderings….


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