Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Retro Racism

I remember when I was a child, my mother told me about her childhood and the abuse and bullying from family members. 

My mother spent a lot of her childhood in Mississippi. My grandfather and great-grandmother died and my grandmother went blind and got sick all in the same year; leaving my mother, just nine years old, to carry the household. So family members sent my grandmother, my mother and my younger uncle down to Mississippi to be cared for. She explained to me once she got there it was rough.

My mother was born with a missing bone in her hip causing her lots of surgeries and obstacles as a child, but that's not the reason of her bullying. She was given a hard time because of her skin color. My mother is a dark skinned woman. Many family members shunned her because she was darker than a brown paper bag. If you were lighter than a brown paper bag, you got treated better and probably was a product of mixed race intercourse. (Even though my family was from Mississippi, we had a lot of lighter skinned relatives. My great great grandfather was a product of mixed race intercourse. His mother was a slave from Africa. His father was a white man. It is not recorded nor did he ever say who his father was. My great great grandfather was a right hand man to Marcus Garvey. This is totally another blog post.) Skin color has always been an issue between black people. Lighter skinned slaves worked in the house of their masters, while darker skinned people most likely worked in the fields. 

There is a new documentary coming out later in the year called "Dark Girls". I'm excited to see it, though it saddens me that this is still an issue. Take a look at the preview for "Dark Girls".

Dark Girls: Preview from Bradinn French on Vimeo.

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