Shades

 

Colorism.

Something most people aren’t aware of or simply just in denial of. This topic takes center stage in the Black community. I am African American and Sudanese. Sudan is in North African, Arabic being the native tongue there.

Colorism, like racism, is systematic and institutionalized. It privileges light skinned people of color over dark skinned people of color. Although the logic of colorism differs depending on the ethnic and racial community, for Black Americans it derives from slavery. During slavery and ever since, light skinned Black people have been privileged because aesthetically they are closer to whiteness.

Colorism is very much so in the Arab community. The negative attitude towards dark skin, and the need to disassociate Middle Easterners from it, derives from attitudes towards African people. I made many friends of African descent for various reasons, including the similarities in our cultures and beliefs. Arabic is spoken by not just white arabs (Palestinian, UAE, Kuwait, Saudia Arabia, etc.) but also African Arabs (Egypt, North Sudan, etc.)

 

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