The Color Complex

Miscegenation: The mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, procreation and sexual relations. via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscegenation

Being of fair complexion I am always asked the question, “Which one of your parents is white?” My answer. “NEITHER!” and for some reason it is always said with much attitude. Just because an African-American is light skinned does not mean they are a product of an inter-racial relationship or sexual encounter. However I am of mixed ethnic background, just not of the norm, I am African-American, Native American and Mexican. Because of my fair skin, long hair and hazel eyes I suffered from what I call a color complex growing up. I didn’t exactly fit in with the black kids because I wasn’t dark enough, and I didn’t want to fit in with the white because hell, I wasn’t white. I was often teased and taunted by the by the girls with dark skin and thicker hair, “You think you cute because you got long hair and pretty eyes?” Which I didn’t, it wasn’t a big deal that I was light skinned, I was a person just like them. Right? Wrong! I went through my years growing up with this being an issue, it wasn’t until I got older and saw the movie “School Daze” by Spike Lee that I honestly understood just how deep the color complex truly was and still is.

Based at a fictitious historically black college this movie explores the issues that races encounter. The Wannabes and the Jiggaboos, wannabes being the light skinned women with long hair (weave or natural) and light eyes and the jiggaboos being the dark women with the naturally nappy hair. They called each other everything from nappyhead, tar baby, wanna be white to barbiedoll. Growing up I was called high yellow, house nigga, porch monkey, octoroon and anything else disrespectful the dark skinned girls could think of that could possibly hurt my feelings. I had to learn to be comfortable in my own skin in order to get over my color complex. I am who and I am, GOD made me this way for a reason and there was nothing anyone could say, light dark, pink or purple that would change that. Still to this day at the age of 25 almost 26 I still get called a house nigga or high yellow, but it doesn’t bother me because at the end of the day MY black no matter what percentage is BEAUTIFUL!!!

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