Please, please support Flexin’ in my Complexion, the brainchild and creation of a then ten year old (now eleven) entrepreneur Kheris Rogers:
“Kheris Rogers can’t forget the grade school humiliation. During an assignment where the students had to draw themselves, the teacher handed the shy dark-skinned girl a black crayon instead of a brown one.
“I was the darkest of all of them,” the stunning 11 year old recalls of her classmates. “But they were all African-American.”
Rogers had earlier transferred from another school to escape the incessant bullying. It didn’t work. Her complexion set her apart, a label she couldn’t shed.
But now Rogers owns her label, literally. Her clothing line is called “Flexin’ In My Complexion.” The brand has caught fire among some big celebrities. . . ”
Read the full article by Elizabeth Elkin and Ben Burnstein on CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/20/health/sisters-anti-bullying-clothing-line-trnd/
Kheris turned this into a teachable moment. Now her clothing line is taking off!
Oscar winner Lupita N’Yongo is also proudly “Flexin’ In My Complexion.”
If any reader isn’t convinced that this issue is real, please read this speech by Lupita in 2014: http://wikkidsexycool.com/2014/03/06/waiting-on-the-world-to-change/
What Kheris experienced was intra-racism. Black on black bullying due to her dark skin. For others, it can be because they’re not dark (or their outward appearance, such as their hair and features don’t appear “black”, and thus, some will claim that they’re not black enough).
Colorism isn’t limited to women. Males are affected also. I won’t post his before and after photos here, but baseball great Sammy Sosa is an example of how colorism can even affect someone with Sosa’s stature.
Now, for a bit of history. Ranking black individuals is nothing new, and in America, it was practiced during slavery (lighter slaves with more white looking features worked in the Master’s home, while darker slaves usually worked in the fields). There’s the “brown paper bag test” that was used during segregation (skin color checked against a paper bag) and also a poem that went like this:
If you’re white, you’re all right
In you’re brown, stick around
If you’re black, get back . . .
Ebony Magazine article from 2000: https://preview.tinyurl.com/y8e9odhu