~Writer girl problemz~

So, I'm writing a story called Brown Boy. And the story honestly makes me physically sick to write. Because not only am I challenging myself to write something real and raw to most African-Americans my age and from history (if you're not black it could also a good read), it also makes me find the truth within myself and reveal it to an audience.

Back in late elementary school and into my middle school years was when I truly began to notice color. You know—that girl is darker than me and that girl is lighter than me, although it really didn't matter to me until my peers and the media began to make it an issue.

The first time I heard about how guys (or girls) didn't date certain people because of their skin color it shocked me. It made me realize what body I was in for the first time. It still didn't bother me that much that I was a dark-skinned African-American until I started to see people mentioning how "dark girls are ugly" and "I don't date dark-skinned girls" in the black community.

In my school, literally 98% of the black guys freely claim that they don't date black girls. Both the media and my peers around me carry the connotation that being a black girl meant being the ugly, sassy, and comical-relief of your group. Black girls were never taken seriously; anytime a ghetto girl (who happened to be black) did something that the media made "typical" of a black girl to do, I'd ALWAYS hear somebody around mutter, "black girls, man."

Middle school drove me to self-hatred. I only had one boyfriend in my lifetime, which I believed to be was because white guys wanted white girls, black guys wanted white girls; hell, everyone wanted white girls. It's a common thing in the black community for people to praise the light-skinned, "nice"-haired (which meant white people hair), tall girl with light eyes to match. Constantly, constantly in my school the black kids would fawn over white girls/white boys.

I saw myself as hideous. As worthless. I thought the only way I could be beautiful was if I had lighter skin and longer hair and lighter eyes. It drove me to googling "ways to lighten your skin without damaging it" and other things that came along with self-hatred. Since I couldn't change the color of my skin or the color of my eyes, I feel I placed the anger on my weight. But that isn't the point of this blog post.

The point is, the story Brown Boy does not only represent my past, but also the current and past state of the African-American community. Us blacks have gone so far as to separate us by who's the lightest, and who's the darkest. The darkest girls or guys are made fun of; people would say "they've been in the sun too long" or "they're burnt" or "crusty"; it's terrible.

I admit it—I still have remnants of my self-hating past here and there. But after learning so much about African history and all we've been through and how the world is now, I've come to love being black so much. I feel being black just makes the challenge of living harder, but also more worth it. Because, in the end, I can look back at my achievements and know I did it because I'm stronger than what others believe to be "beautiful" or "ugly". I'm starting to feel much, much better about myself. And I can only thank my ancestors for holding on and being so damn brave.

Thanks so much for reading.
July 26th, 2012 at 11:14pm