We’ve all seen them. Those annoying “Light Skin vs Dark Skin” memes portraying light skinned individuals as soppy, sensitive simps with undertones of homosexuality.
The dark skinned personas always seem to be illiterate, uncouth and outwardly aggressive. We laugh at them and click “Like” on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Sometimes we share them with our peers and laugh at how ridiculously hilarious these meme’s are. It’s all in fun, right? Wrong. Personally, I have faced this kind of prejudice in real life from a very young age.
As a Jamaican born, British who happens to have a white Grandparent, plus German and Persian in my family tree… my complexion isn’t the darkest. My first experience of racism directed personally at me was back when I was a 14 year old, fresh faced, slightly naïve teen. I had upset my friend’s neighbour by being a little too loud, and she blasted me by calling me a “Jamaican half breed dog”. It blew my mind. As far as I was concerned, black was black. Regardless of the shade. I had never made any differentiation up until this point.
As the years went by, I endured slurs by friends whenever I identified myself as being a black female. They would sneer and state that I “wasn’t black. I was Beige.” They also pointed out that if we were back in Slavery days, that I would be a “House Nigger” and that we were not the same. The feeling of complete isolation by the who I knew I belonged to and with was devastating.
By Ayara Pommells