Hating On “Light-Skinned” Blacks Doesn’t Make YOU More Black

As I was surfing the internet the other day, I came across wedding pictures of Dirk Nowitzki and his Kenyan born bride Jessica Olsson. The couple looked absolutely in love, with them both dressed in traditional Kikuyu garments during the ceremony. As I scrolled down to read the comment section to hear people gush about the pics, I saw one comment that had over 50 likes which troubled the sh*t out of me. It read:

“The African American ballers go after whites and light skinned ladies while this white man fell in love with a black woman…Congrats Dirk!”

And as I read that I instantly cringed, because as much as I’m all for the propagation of “Black” love, I found it very insulting and crass that all of a damn sudden, the struggles of “light-skinned ladies” seems to be equal and on par with that of white women. This is incredibly disrespectful because it completely disregards ANY struggle that other Black people go through, which is pretty hilarious because that seems to be the one thing that ultimately UNITES is, even if some of us have it harder than others.

But what I found even funnier about this comment is the fact that we as Black people are complete IDIOTS when it comes to defining “Blackness” [which is why we shouldn’t even try in the first damn place]. The commenter was bigging up Dirk for marrying a Black woman who wasn’t light-skinned or white, predicated on the assumption that she is born of all-Black heritage – which she is NOT. Jessica IS a biracial woman (her father is a white Swedish man), yet she has the ability to LOOK different shades, as MANY Black people do. And THIS is why hating on “light skinned” Black people is not only incredibly childish, but ridiculously anti-intellectual.

The poster who made the comment above was not only ignorant, but was starving for Black “Brownie points” that they could use to gain favour from other Black commenters – which is exactly what they received. Their mission is to do with Blackness, what Sara Palin tries to do with America – establish a TRUE representation of the word, making everyone else’s struggles seemingly expendable. She use to travel the conservative south and state that “this is the REAL America” as if the rest of the country did not deserve her patriotism. That’s what corny Black folks are doing every time we label “light skinned” Black folks as separate from “OUR” struggle, when fortunately or unfortunately for them, they are NOT.

T.J. Holmes

Let me drive my point home like this – meet T.J. Holmes, a former CNN anchor and easily verifiable “light-skinned” brother. Holmes made news Monday when he was stopped by police – two blocks away from his home in Atlanta – without being given ANY reason as to why he was pulled over. In a fit of rage he tweeted about “being pulled over while Black” and how he was given no indication that he actually broke any law. Moments later the cop insisted that he pulled him over to check if he had insurance – but we all know it was to check to see what this high-yella negroe was doing OUTSIDE the hood.

The truth is being a person of colour is difficult no matter WHAT shade, and disregarding the trials and tribulations “light-skinned” Blacks go through is nothing more than a testament to the Crabs In A Barrel mentality.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.


  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    08/03/2012 at 5:51 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, Do You Think That Poster's Comment Above [About Black Men Preferring "Light Skinned" & White Women] Was Fair Or Foul?

  2. mena

    08/03/2012 at 6:21 AM

    It's a fair assessment if that's what she sees. She stated that ballers tend to marry white or light skin black women. You took that comment and ran with how she is inferring that light skin black women don't go through trials and tribulations. Where did you get that from?

    What I inferred from the comment is that this white guy appreciates a darker tone and yet black successful men tend to go for lighter women as if they are better than their darker counterparts. Now, that is a post that you could critique on wether she was being ignorant or not.

    I don't see where your post was going.

  3. Noelle

    08/03/2012 at 7:28 AM

    Mena, I completely agree with you. The writer of this article definitely took her statement and ran with it.

  4. Lissa

    08/03/2012 at 8:11 AM

    I think we as black are always up to down something we dont like yet there are plenty of black "ballers" marrying black women. Yet, we look for something to say if he marries light skin or white. Both sides could be right made Linclon took it to far or maybe he has a great point that plays off a persons comment and anoyher person tweet. Bottom line no matter your shade of blackness somebody else black is going to feel either you got it good or u dont.

  5. Paul B.

    08/03/2012 at 9:37 AM

    Sorry, but that statement was foul. She said that as if light skinned isn't black, which it is black. Regardless to her perception, black is black no matter the shade. It seems like only blacks are unaware of that realization. This shoots another hole in the claim that "only black people will understand other black people" that some will use as a reason blacks shouldn't date non blacks. The fact is some of us will make sh*t so dang complicated when it isn't, and it's not cute or appealing.

  6. uncle gryph

    08/03/2012 at 9:47 AM

    au contraire. black people are perhaps the most petty and divisive people planet earth has ever seen. `hating on light-skinned' is completely in line with that.

    light-skinned people, no matter the race, have more privileges and opportunities that darker-skinned people. that's not to say that light-skinned folks aren't oppressed in other ways.

    anyway, was this piece anything more than a subtle swirl showcase? and an affirmation that real `blackness' is hassled by the police? ah yes. working from a model that has white racism determine us. what's `blacker' than that?

  7. Adonis

    08/03/2012 at 11:03 AM

    Why when a black man marries a light skin woman, he is self-hating, but when a white man marries a woman of the same or darker complexion, he is celebrated. (Like American BW are getting married anyway.)

    I will say this again, Black women have complexion issues. Some of it is valid, but alot of them go to far, and use it as an excuse instead of admitting that they are ugly & lazy.

    And shout out to swirling White men, 95% of the time I see them with a Black woman, she is top shelf, and he is mediocre. Being white to BW gets you far.

  8. Dydy

    08/03/2012 at 12:54 PM

    Imma go in on this one. I'm light skinned and I get sh*t on no matter what I do but yet my struggles is better than my dark skinned counterparts? I call bullsh*t I'm the middle ground where both sides give me crap. Where I live has a higher white population, and I live here because its about 400 cheaper and bigger than living closer to "my people". Plus I don't hear sirens all f*ckin day, get fresh air, and I can actually see some stars. When I go for a job and even in black communities most of the managers and higher ups are white and I get the same bs no matter where I go, cuz they see two things, three when I open my mouth; a black person, a black man, and when I speak… A Jamaican. Even black managers see all that and judge me before they look at my resume. And I get this bs, we here have a strict no drug and violence policy. I tell them I never owned a gun, never got in a fight, and don't smoke weed or anything for that matter, and don't even drink.
    You would think they hear this but they dont, because they mention this 4 more times during the interview and still haven't opened my resume yet. Then I get, "we'll call you." Mean while a white dude in a dirty t-shirt and jeans smelling like a drunkard's ballsack is filling out tax forms at the door. Black women who know who my last gf was, will "spread" the word I don't date black women, even when they know damn well she was the only white nani I got in. So while I'm standing there trying to talk to them, they say, "I'm not the right color for you." And I supposedly have it easier than my dark skinned brothas. With dating color don't matter to me, not judging me and not being a bitch is what I look for. And it might seem like a rare if not impossible case of Jamaican black man who is light skinned, bald head, non smoker, non drinker, Christian man, no baby commas, and no criminal record not even a traffic ticket. But we do exist and shit is hard for us, especially when both sides dog us to our face based on this notion of what they think we are or who we are.

    Honestly I sometimes think and feel things would be easier if I was born with dark skin. But I was born this way and the Jamaican upbringing in me dictates I don't give a f*ck what people think of me. Life hard enough as it is.

    So Linc thank you breddren, thank you fi bringing it up and mekkin a point. Nuff Respeck

  9. China

    08/03/2012 at 1:50 PM

    Light skinned blacks, dark skinned blacks, we are all beautiful.
    My problebm is that Idon't see a good representation (enough) of dark skinned blacks on televsion and in the media. Mainstream (white america/society) highlights light skinned blacks. They love the obviously biracial "blacks" even more. This is one more thing to further divide black people. You can't tell me that it doesn't affect people when they are not represented properly.

  10. Noelle

    08/03/2012 at 2:06 PM

    China, I completely agree. These African-American women who have color 'issues' didn't get them from nowhere. I think the lady's comment was NOT ignorant. It was an observation that she's made. And it is TRUE—it's what we all have observed, whether some will admit or not. The majority of these athletes DO marry Caucasian or women who APPEAR 'mixed' with something, no matter what her blood line might actually be. I had a Russian male friend ask me why African-American men don't generally marry African-American women. I guess his question is ignorant and without merit too? How about a post on here written on THIS topic: Why are light-complected women desired more in the media AND by these athletes/celebs and HOW can we go about reassuring the darker among us that they are just as desirable? I won't hold my breath tho.

  11. Noelle

    08/03/2012 at 2:07 PM

    *African American male athletes

  12. Noelle

    08/03/2012 at 2:11 PM

    @ Mena, EXACTLY!!!!

  13. Dydy

    08/03/2012 at 3:26 PM

    The sad yet blaring truth is that as people of any race, even if we all mixed into every combination imaginable into one olive toned, almond eyed, curly haired, juicy lipped, sexy beings… Some people will still pick at and perpetuate some social divide based on physical appearance. Hair color or tightness of the natural curls they have, or the minuscule differences in skin tone or smoothness thereof.

  14. Paul B.

    08/03/2012 at 7:20 PM

    If it looks likes a duck, and quacks like a duck…

  15. J.Crawford

    08/03/2012 at 9:37 PM

    I’ve Never had a Shade Preference of the women I’ve tried to talk to or dated, as I love All Black Women. Yes, I’ve dated outside my race, but Who I decide to Fall in Love with, Marry, or Have Kids with is My Choice and My Business, Not some “self-hate” towards other Black People or myself.

    I’ve given up trying to fight this stupid Colorist Beef a Long Time Ago

  16. Noelle

    08/04/2012 at 8:55 AM

    I have a sneaking suspicion that if brown and dark skinned men were NOT deemed as desirable as they are every damn where, the men on here would feel quite differently about their indifference to the particular topic. EVERY body and their Momma wants a 'tall, dark, and handsome' man. The world validates your appeal, ESPECIALLY women of other races. No wonder men never seem to know when they're ugly LOL

  17. Noelle

    08/04/2012 at 8:57 AM

    Oh and lightskinned men have ALWAYS been desired.

  18. East Londoner

    08/04/2012 at 9:52 AM

    I find it hilarious this obsession that African Americans have with skin colour. Black is black. You don't have caucasians separating themselves by skin tone, so why do we feel the need to do this to ourselves? Personally I think this whole skin colour debate is born from insecurity; to that I say, GET OVER IT!! It's trivial. Besides, beauty is subjective, and for that reason, there's no need to constantly justify what is regarded as beautiful. Confidence is hot, skin colour is irrelevant.

    Anyway, I thought I would offer my two pence from England

  19. daboo18

    08/04/2012 at 6:40 PM

    I agree with the point but i think it just shocks me still to find white man whose wife is black.
    Its always like i see a white celebrity man married or dating a black woman i always be like "wwhhhhhaattttt." — its shocking and different but common and very acceptable.

    whether you are light skinned or dark skinned your still black. i don't think the quote was too bad but i do think the person who typed it had a little ill feeling about biracial engagement among black men.

  20. bellatrice1

    08/06/2012 at 7:43 PM

    I'm late to the discussion, but I don't feel the commenter was ignorant for making the statements she made. I am brown skinned, but it is not difficult to understand what dark-skinned women go through on a daily basis.

    As a black man, it is difficult for you to understand HER experience because Black men (light skinned, dark skinned or whatever) are desirable by the masses no matter what shade they happen to be. However, in the media and in my personal experience, dark skinned women or women who do not appear mixed often feel slighted by Black men and rightfully so. Living in LA, the most superficial place you can possibly be, the preference for mixed chicks, white women and light skinned women is evident.

    It's funny because most of the women obviously can relate, either directly or indirectly, but the men don't get it. Why? Because it isn't YOUR experience. As someone else said, the commenter was obviously emotional, but this is HER reality. Sure, we shouldn't perpetuate these beliefs, but we do need to discuss it. It exists.

  21. bellatrice1

    08/06/2012 at 10:04 PM

    Yeah and also Black men with a voice verbally express their "preference" for non-Black, mixed or light skinned women to the dark-skinned woman's dismay. How would these men feel if no one celebrated them? Preferred them? Told them they are handsome specifically BECAUSE of their dark skin? They would understand then. Your Drakes, Lil Waynes, Chris Browns, movies, tv, all speak about light skinned women, and women of other races, stating that this is what's cool, what is beautfiul, what is ideal. Unfortunately, the average Joe isn't reaching other countries and spreading their love of the Black woman in ALL shades, so naturally, what these celeb Black men feel is what it is hailed as the popular opinion.

  22. Kenyangirl

    08/07/2012 at 1:09 AM

    Erm… just wanted to point out (as a Kenyan) that those are NOT Kikuyu outfits. How's that for YOUR conscience speaking.

  23. GhanaExtra

    08/10/2012 at 12:33 PM

    Real talk!

  24. APGifts

    09/27/2012 at 10:36 PM

    There is actually no such thing as a so-called "Light-Skinned
    Black" person … but rather … such individuals and groups
    are actually people who are of a 'Multi-Generational
    Multiracially-Mixed' (MGM-Mixed) Lineage that some may
    have been pressured or encouraged to ignore or downplay.
    . http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/me
    People of Mixed-Race lineage should NOT feel pressured to
    'identify' according to any standards other than one's own.
    . http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/me
    The legal -application of the racist-'One-Drop Rule'
    (ODR) was banned in the U.S. way back in 1967.
    . http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/me
    . http://www.facebook.com/groups/253286018082418/pe
    . http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/me
    . http://www.facebook.com/groups/253286018082418/pe
    Listed below are related Links of 'the facts' of the histories
    of various Mixed-Race populations found within the U.S.:
    There is no proof that a 'color-based slave hierarchy'
    (or that 'color-based social-networks') ever existed
    as common entities — within the continental U.S.
    . http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/me
    . http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/me
    It was the 'Rule of Matriliny (ROM) — [a.k.a. 'The Rule of Partus'
    (ROP)] — and NOT the racist-'One-Drop Rule' (ODR) — that was
    used to 'create more enslaved people' on the continental U.S.
    This is because the chattel-slavery system that was
    once found on the antebellum-era, continental U.S.
    was NOT "color-based" (i.e. "racial") — but rather
    — it was actually "mother-based" (i.e. 'matrilineal').
    . http://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/309
    There were many ways (and not solely the sexual assault
    and sexual exploitation of the women-of-color) in which
    'white' lineage entered the familial bloodlines of
    enslaved-people found on the continental U.S.
    . http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/me
    . http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/me
    . http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/me
    An 'Ethnic' category is NOT the
    same thing as a "Race" category:
    . http://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/300
    Other Topics:
    . https://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/27
    . https://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/16
    . http://www.facebook.com/notes/%C2%ADallpeople-gif

  25. Shannon9877

    04/12/2013 at 11:12 AM

    what studies people- I have never seen a study showing that light skinned blacks are treated better – Nevermind – I'll google it LOL!

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