The video begins with a young girl of dark complexion explaining that “Even though, I’m dark skin, I’m not black. I’m Dominican and Cape Verdian.” She goes on to describe black people as “very ignorant people” also stating “I would never date a black boy. I would never have a black girlfriend, because they have that bad hair, both of them.” However, despite these comments among other denigrating and stereotypical remarks, she states she is not being racist. This is disturbing, especially since it is coming from the mouth of someone who looks like a Mini Me version of rapper Foxy Brown and former actress Maia Campbell.
For this young lady to deny her African ancestry because she is Dominican and Cape Verdian is erroneous. From 1455 to 1975 Cape Verde was a colony of Portugal. In an article on Cape Verdeans, the “Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia” says the following, “The Portuguese based their slave-trading economy on these islands in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. Slaves worked on Cape Verdean sugar plantations, and they did general labor and household work. It was common for slave owners to have children with their servants. That is largely how today's native Crioulo (Creole) population evolved.
It is also a historical fact that Africans and Arabs, referred to as moors conquered and ruled over Portugal, Spain, portions of France and Italy for approximately 700 years. During this time they intermarried with Europeans creating a very racially mixed population in those regions of the continent. Many individuals from that southern area of Europe have African ancestry which is depicted in the coat of arms of their families. Ivan Sertima’s “Golden Age of the Moor” and J.A. Rogers’ “Nature Knows No Color Line” are works which discuss in detail the African ancestry of Europeans in that area of the world.
Based on the facts above, this young woman’s lineage indisputably traces back to Africa, for even the Spanish who controlled the island of Hispaniola during colonial times mated and had children with the indigenous natives and African slaves under their domination. And as explained above, even the Spanish had African ancestry. It is thus saddening to see someone who exhibits the physical characteristics of black people deny her heritage.
One catalyst of this situation is the character defamation to which African people have been subjected. The culture of Africans has been demonized to the world as well as Africans themselves. In addition to that psychological blow, their countless historical accomplishments and advancements have been ignored, suppressed and stolen by others. This ultimately creates within black people a negative perception of themselves and others in their group to the point where they evaluate standards of beauty based on the lightness or darkness of skin tone. For instance, in the third interview of the video a young dark skinned boy says, “When you see a dark skinned girl you think crusty. When you see a light skinned girl you think, Oh my God she’s beautiful.
Such statements are shocking and appalling. This color issue which is common in many black communities is historical residue from years of slavery and colonialism. Marketing guru Tom Burrell discusses this historical circumstance and the roll the media has played in perpetuating the problem in his monumental book, “Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority.” In a chapter titled “Uglified” he presents information about the conditions during slavery which reinforced the color prejudice among blacks such as “Division among slaves was aggravated by the privileges some slave masters awarded to their light-skinned offspring.” He presents the long lasting effects of such treatment with the 1954 black doll white doll experiment of Drs. Kenneth and Mami Clark which was duplicated in 2005 by Kiri Davis yielding the same results of black children choosing a white doll over a black doll. He further explains how media such as rap lyrics and videos exacerbate the color bias and friction among black people.
It is obvious that the children making the disparaging remarks about other blacks in the WorldStar Hip-Hop video suffer from the ills presented by Mr. Burrell’s book. However, to correct such self destructive behavior, at the end of each chapter Burrell does offer solutions to each problem he presents. In addition to his suggestions, a careful study of the true history of African people all over the world must be conducted. Numerous Africancentered scholars will testify to the redemptive powers of learning one’s true history. These children need to be educated about the glories of Ethiopia, Nubia, Kemet, Monomotapa, Songhai, the Moors and others, as well as learning about the high value placed on blackness of all shades in the world pre-slavery.
"Session 3" of “Journey of the Songhai People” state the following: It was not until our degradation in America that our color was a badge of degradation. Down through the ages our color was a badge of triumph. Over twenty-five hundred years ago, Herodotus, the Father of Western History remarked in his chronicles regarding his visit to cities in Africa that those people had skin the glorious colors of the setting sun and that “truly the very gods must have made their homes among the Africans.””
It isn’t difficult to recognize that if African children such as the ones in the video knew the information above their behavior would be different. Resolving this color issue is of great importance due to the need to facilitate unity among black people. It is disunity which mainly prevents African people from advancing in the world. And it was partly disunity which placed them in the deplorable situation they currently occupy. However, without knowing their history they will not be able to know what is necessary to facilitate unity for any type of social, political and economic progression. An African proverb accurately states “"If you do not know that you are lost you will not seek a way home" and former Botswana president Seretse Khama says, “"A nation without a past is a lost nation, and a people without a past is a people without a soul." Thank you for reading.Sources:
THIS IS SAD/Lightskinned Vs Dark Skinned: http://youtu.be/JwG5y7OY8Mw
Burrell, Tom, “Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority,” SmileyBooks, 2010
Robinson, Clavin R., Battle, Redman, Robinson, Edward, “The Journey of the Songhai People,” The Pan African Federation Organization, 1987
Rogers, J.A., “Nature Knows No Color-Line,” Helga M. Rogers, 1952
Van Sertima, Ivan, “Golden Age of the Moor,” Journal of African Civilization, 1992
Cape Verdeans: "Cape Verdeans." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cultures. 1999. Encyclopedia.com. 6 Apr. 2011