Skin Color 78 Comments

Can’t imagine being  estranged from their own parents for 27 years, but Sandra Laing, a “black” South African woman experienced that during the apartheid era. Born to White parents, she was born with “African features” which caused much controversy & eventually forced her to claim the race that the South African government classified her as – Colored.

A while back someone wrote about the  effects of skin color on bernos, and I wrote about beauty. When I think about skin colors, I think of house Negros from the field Negros. House Negros intermingled with the white bosses and even had children with them and through generations they became lighter than their brothers and sisters in the field.

Regardless though, the blood of a black person automatically classifies one as black. Refer to Obama for this one. He is Black; no one even talks about him being half white, not predominately anyways.

This is one of those stories, a true one at that, we can learn from and understand why, even as Africans, it’s engrained within us to view lighter skinned people as superior that those of that are darker.

78 Responses to “Skin Color”


  1. 1 Mamitu

    I am going to Netflix this and watch it. It is very interesting. Thanks Nolawi.

  2. 2 getu

    Nolawi,

    I’m guessing from your post that the notion of lighter skinned folks being better than dark skinned folks is engrained in your mind. However, what are you expanding your characteristic mind to all Africans based on? I know a few non-Ethiopian Africans and many Ethiopians. I dont believe any of them actually think of lighter skinned folks as being better in any way.

    CUT, SHUT IT DOWN NOLAWI…

  3. 3 Dinich

    What is wrong with thinking lighter skinned skin looks better….Beauty is not a governmnet job…no need for affirmative action….

    Notice how I am not saying lighter is better. But if someone thinks it is, then so be it.

  4. 4 kiki

    @ Dinich:
    An interesting read, What If Black Women were White Women, if you are interested. http://tinyurl.com/lewuo2

    “In short, the characteristics of the powerful, whatever they may be, are thought to be better than the characteristics of the powerless – and logic has nothing to do with it.” Gloria Steinem – So this!

  5. 5 Dinich

    Kiki,

    I skimmed it briefly. However clever and convincing these theories sound, they are still theories. In a society that sees everything with a black Vs white lens, these theories make a lot of sense contextually but where I have problem is accepting them as universal truth.

    Me, I think black is beautiful but I hate the fact that all these theories exist to justify that black is really beautiful.

    Let’s just throw out all these theories and flaunt our black beauty. My mom says….ayn ayto lib yiferdal.

  6. 6 Nolawi

    What are you talking about Lighter skin is NOT I repeat is NOT better by an relevant mesurements!

  7. 7 ep

    Interesting!
    However, i don’t see from the trailer where it concludes

    “it’s engrained within us to view lighter skinned people as superior that those of that are darker”

    Probably, i need to watch the movie ..

  8. 8 anonx

    Tragic story…

    Interesting also how we end up butting heads on this topic, without fail. I will not do it Dinich, but I will mention, without fail what always gets mentioned…. The complex is serious enough that its become a billion dollar industry. Have you seen Sammy Sosa lately?

    (PS: Nolawi, the first paragraph of your blog was lifted from the original article word for word. give where credit is do in quotation)

  9. 9 Nolawi

    ^ Get a life.. i linked to the source… its not word for word its one sentence…

    i have 9 drafts currently, i start an article today might finish it 3 months down the line.. on average i spend 12 minutes for each article…

    the point is not express my own thoughts and share.. so ya get a life!

  10. 10 biskut

    Why do we call those entries articles? They are simply blog entries .Most of what is posted here is simply a reaction of stuff/news from mainstream media .Even the tab on bernos’ home page says it is a blog .So let us call them blog posts or blog entries but not articles.

  11. 11 Maria

    The tragedy in this poor woman’s life is more than black is bad and white is good ,it is a personal tragedy that she was black, born to white parents, in apartheid South Africa, the alienation and loss of identity she must have felt separating her from her kin must have been unimaginable and unbearably harrowing. The reverse of her situation is probably just as bad even without the apartheid bit, being born to black parents and turning up white, not looking like anyone in your entire family, unable to relate to them must feel like being in hell.

    “Regardless though, the blood of a black person automatically classifies one as black.Refer to Obama for this one.He is Black; no one even talks about him being half white, not predominately anyways.”

    That is because there was a law in the time of slavery that said even one drop of black blood in a person with white blood made them black, not white and mixed race was rudely and cruelly referred to as mulatto ,anyhow those days are long gone thank God and isnt it more important how Obama sees himself? you cant choose racial genes but you can choose your racial identity even if you are on the fairest end of a black complexion or mixed race, skin colour being secondary to racial identity.

  12. 12 Telisi

    i know this has nothing to do with this blog but i just needed to sahre this with you all. BTW,very well put by Maria, above. Now this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwnefUaKCbc

    Ladies and Gentelmen, the Funk is on the section of MetroPolis! Enjoy!

  13. 13 Yared

    Everyone Calm Down… Its a fiction story/movie made by a bonifide hustler/writer.., Let me tell you a better continued story for part two of the movie.. She ends up getting married to the blackest man on earth and ends up with super blonde/blue eyed kids with white features. The confusion never stops…lolol.. Its amazing what were’re capable of producing.. aint it?

  14. 14 SelamT

    Yared: It’s not a fiction.

    “Skin” is based on a true story.
    The story of Sandra Laing a black child born in the 1950s to white Afrikaners, unaware of their black ancestry. Her parents bring her up as their ‘white’ little girl. But at the age of ten, Sandra is driven out of white society. The film follows Sandra’s thirty-year journey from rejection to acceptance, betrayal to reconciliation, as she struggles to define her place in a changing world – and triumphs against all odds.

  15. 15 Yared

    The movie is based on a true story…? so they say about the bible/intelligent design…
    I can’t change or mold you into how I want you to think.. only time and a little lightning will do that for ya..

  16. 16 ep

    Someone enlighten me please…

    What is the talk about “Kids, race and bias. Are children today really colorblind?”

    http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/17/are-kids-today-really-colorblind-join-the-live-chat/

  17. 17 Dinich

    ep,

    I had watched that on TV..

    It is all Cheesy stuff that to say the least misled the kids to say stuff….

    It is annoying when people try to force their cheesy ideas in the form of a scientific study….Anderson Cooper and all his guests on this deserve arif Karia Tifi for this.

  18. 18 Abel

    to whoever that was who tried to say this was not a true story why dont you click on the link provided in the blog and read the interview/see the picture of the actual woman who had to endure this. I have more to say about this topic but don’t feel like typing it all out at this time I’ll come back just had to say that first lol.

  19. 19 Selam2

    Even our own supposedly “proud” habesha society has names for darker “filed negroes”….Shanqla, shanqo, Bariya, teqora, seytan(devil), etc….for lighter “house negrose” qeye, qeye dama, melake yemsele/chi( angel)…etc…Let’s start with the man/woman in the mirror my fellow Habeshoch

  20. 20 Telisi

    S’cuse my interruption but i need your attention to this litle_known superstar about to fly high into the sky:-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EX6ye8wy2o&feature=related

    flamers will be white_spaced:-)

  21. 21 Maria

    Thanks Telisi for bringing Jannelle Monae, this little known singer should have been a superstar at least 2 years ago.

    Yared, if anything the movie will probably give itself artistic license to downplay Sandra Laing real and traumatic life, the expulsion from her family as well as the society she was born into which goes on to this day.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1093674/The-tragic-story-white-girl-born-black-tore-family-apart.html

  22. 22 tsedey

    thanks telisi, i love janelle monae, from her style to her dance, to her killer hairstyle which i plan to rock in the near future:) to her music and her cute little face. beautiful soul.

    it’s amazing how decent and talented females which aren’t sexual symbols kinda struggle to get noticed despite their talent…

    in regards to the movie, it’s interesting to watch how it happened. but genetically speaking, i don’t know how two plane white parents produce a ‘black’ child unless there’s been some kind of black blood in distant ancestory lineage..

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