Being born black is sometime like having leprosy. Some view us as contagious, Or every black person is a criminal; because of the color of our skin. When I was in my early twenties I was hire by the manager of the Alabama State Employment office in my hometown of Andalusia, Alabama.

It was indeed an experience being the first black person to work in that office. The manager was a man named Clarence Trusdale. Each morning I would have to wait for one of the other white employees to arrive before being able to get into the office. Standing outside wasn’t fun!

It didn’t matter if it was cold or raining I had to wait. At the urging of two people in the office I asked the manger for a key to the office. Well…I wasn’t  expecting to be told that I could not get one. When I asked why? His answer was…I hadn’t been there long enough to get a key.

Needless to say, the two people that knew this man told me to file a discrimination complaint; which I did and it was a month later someone pay the manager a visit.

After that meeting I got a key to the office and a warning that if anything goes missing in the place…I would be a suspect.

Then oneday I answered the telephone, the other person on the line started in complaining about that nigger at the front desk shouldn’t be there.

I interjected by saying…this is that nigger, and you need to appologize. Of course, that didn’t happen. I have never allowed the negativity to define or make me feel less than a person worthy of respect.

Being born black wasn’t a choice. However, since I am I wouldn’t want to be any other color. I am who, I am.


If given a choice, would you choose to live life as a black man in America? No, because even a poor uneducated white man’s life is valued more than a wealthy, well-educated black man, simply because of the color of his skin. White privilege will continue.

Earnest L. Robinson Jr.

Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eye and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.

Robert Kennedy

Not Only is there discrimination –there is colorism.


Colorism not only occurs in different racial or ethnic groups but can happen within them as well. Colorism differs from racism in that racism is based on beliefs about the racial inferiority of a group.

Racism can include systemic inequality, prejudiced attitudes and discriminatory acts. Colorism is thought to only have negative implications for individuals of darker skin tone.

However, lighter-skinned African Americans have been victims of colorism as well.

The effects of colorism have proven to be damaging to the identity of black Americans by leading to internalized oppression in the black community.

Moreover, the concept of identity, and how a person presents oneself in order to make a living, is not only an issue that has historically hindered black actors and actresses, but everyday black Americans as well.

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Because you are black…your hair is course, lips are bigger than most people, you are a misfit. You are treated poorly by some people black and white.

So some spent most of their lives feeling unworthy and invisible. even with our flaws and imperfections, we still deserve to show up in our own lives.


For example, a scene from the COLOR PURPLE

“I’M POOR, BLACK, I MAY EVEN BE UGLY, BUT DEAR GOD, I’M HERE! I’M HERE!”

The Color Purple
Celie

“DON’T LET THEM RUN OVER YOU…YOU GOT TO FIGHT.”

The Color Purple

“BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIGHT, ALL I KNOW HOW TO DO IS STAY ALIVE.”

The Color Purple

Colorism, the discrimination against individuals based on their skin tone, has long influenced the opportunities available to African Americans.

 

 

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"Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep."

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