Saturday, 9 November 2013

A Whiter Shade Of....Black?!

When British dual-heritage actor Thandie Newton was cast as Olanna, the voluptuous, brown-skinned and beautiful Igbo heroine of the film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel Half of a Yellow Sun, there was a furore.
There was..? Apparently so, according to singer Kele Okereke.
An online petition sprang up, demanding the film be recast.
Clearly, this furore passed me by. Is it 'cos I is white?
This reaction seems to highlight a worrying trend throughout the media in which the dark-skinned black woman seems almost non-existent. We rarely see her dancing in R&B videos: she has been replaced as the love interest by her light-skinned or white sisters. We do not even see her in the faces of our black female pop stars. Take Rihanna, Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, all light-skinned with European features and blond weaves.
Oh, clearly, it is..!
Where have all our dark-skinned sisters gone? What does it mean that the only acceptable black faces are light-skinned? This is the reality of colourism.
Colourism refers to discrimination based on skin colour. Typically it disadvantages dark-skinned people, and privileges those with lighter skin.
Dark Girls, a 2011 documentary by American film-makers Bill Duke and D Channsin Berry, sought to rip the lid off colourism. For more than an hour, dark-skinned black women shared their feelings of rejection, sexual objectification and marginalisation.
But no, wait! This isn't a diatribe against the 'racist' white society, as you might expect:
In one of the more harrowing segments it reported a new version of the 1940s doll experiment by Kenneth and Mamie Clark, which had children select a white or a black doll (they typically chose white), and showed how black children had internalised racist ideas. In the updated version, black children favoured light‑skinned dolls over dark-skinned dolls.

God help us if the gingers get wind of this new 'ism'!


Anonymous said...

hilarious, the blacks themselves don't like the really black ones.
But I'm sure it's still whiteys fault.

Dr Cromarty said...

I saw The Last Samurai on tv last night. Not a single black African/Caribbean in a leading role. Likewise most Bollywood films. Personally I blame whitey.
PS How come you never see a black man playing Adolf Hitler or Heinrich Himmler in war films, eh?

The Jannie said...

Don't the professionally offended realise how fucking dreary, self-obsessed and downright pathetic they are? That'll be a no, then . . .

MTG said...

Something must be done immediately!

Dare I suggest a Commission for Colour Spectrum Equality? And had he been black enough, honest enough and Left enough, Trevor Phillips would be the ideal Chairperson.

Demetrius said...

Why pray are there none who are coloured a sort of light mottled red strongly flecked with light brown and the odd scar?

Anonymous said...

This isn't a new 'ism' - it is a well known fact that black people, Africans, do NOT like people with very black skins. It is 'racism', just as West Indians and Africans don't like each other, it's quite good to see it becoming more publicised. Racism isn't just nasty old whitey being beastly to johnny foreigner. A complex ishoo falsely projected by the gimme money race hustling industry.

Dr Cromarty - FFS don't give them ideas.

Anonymous said...

This is the reality of colourism.
I thought I would piss myself reading this.
John Gibson

Anonymous said...

The whole race racket is about to collapse under the weight of its own absurdity.

blueknight said...

I think it is a fact that many Caribbean people carry European genes and therefore will often be lighter than someone from Africa.
Bit of jealousy methinks

Woman on a Raft said...

I was going to comment that the well-known group The Three Degrees had traveled through their professional lives from obviously black to vaguely Spanish and white. Then I realized that one of them had retired and been replaced by another lady.

The progress of the group may be simply a commercial reality; if you look mid-tone, you appeal to the widest market possible.

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later there will be coercive affirmative action but the Chinese and Indians will be doing the coercing.
NB there are very few really 'white' dolls -mostly pinkish.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX An online petition sprang up, demanding the film be recast.XX

When they cast some coon in the role of Freya, in "Eric the Viking", before the days of internet, there was a massive campaign among all the Heathen/Pagan groups of the world to get it re-cast.

We were then called "racist".

The difference here is?