I need not to make these delays a habit, but it takes me a long time to adjust to change.
Bear with me and the inevitable typos.
Firstly, I want to big up brown girl yoga with jamilah like it on facebook nah. Big big big big big big big BIG practice. First time in my life I’ve been to a yoga class and there wasn’t at least one white person. Also, sharing a link she put on your page re: 5 ways yoga replenishes mind, body and soul. I can’t attest to the soul bit, I’m not a particularly spiritual person but mind… a calm like no other, body…. a possibility like no other. Get. On. It.
Last we spoke I was sharing my difficulty enjoying and/or ignoring the weight of violence in my entertainment- specifically movie. Over at Colorlines they do a great piece on how to be a conscious sports fan. Sports is fraught with complications around race, labour, class, sex, colonialism, imperialism and ability among a host of other things. Definitely it’s hard for me to ignore these factors save track and field in the Olympics every four years. But since you’re not me…
In less than a month I have read 15 books. Not all have been great but I’ve enjoyed reading each and every single one. Here’s Zadie Smith’s 7 favourite. I’ve read 4/7. And since you asked some books I’ve read recently that I’d recommend- In the name of Salome’ by Julia Alvarez and The Last Warner Woman by Kei Miller. Books people, be about them, there’s history all around and in between us.
Shadeism, colourism… yeah. I’m a light skinned woman.
I’ve been teased b/c I’m light-skinned, oh gosh, don’t wear shorts, when the sun hits them the glare is too much for my eyes (my mother).
I’ve been brought down to size b/c I’m light-skinned, she feel she better than people b/c she clear eh (classmates).
I’ve been re-recognised b/c of it, I didn’t know clear people does get on so (colleagues).
B/c I’m light skinned people have questionned my Caribbean-ness, my real-ness, my black-ness.
Those things aside, and they are big things, things that mess with your identity and how you come to see yourself, your self-esteem. But they are an aside in my life and the life of many other light-skinned people I am certain b/c being light-skinned affords you a bucketload of privilege.
I am more likely to see myself represented on television, movies, commercials and various media outlets when they do bother to have people of African descent profiled.
I am more likely to be thought of as pretty than the large majority of dark skinned women who are also of African descent.
These are two things among a myriad of things that carry a significant weight. Light-skinned people, women especially don’t downplay the privilege, it is real.
Now Zoe, I know it can’t be nice that people are saying you shouldn’t get to play Nina Simone, and maybe you meant this tweet as a reflection of their choice as being at act of colorism. But in the event you didn’t, and actually the way I think it was intended… I get it’s rough that your blackness will forever be called into question, worse yet b/c you’re Latina, you’re an immigrant; I’m mono lingual English speaking so the barrier’s not as complicated for me but I’d still never be considered African American. I get that. But let’s be real. You are offered far more roles that your dark-skinned counterparts. Don’t down play that reality to get yours heard. Own your privilege, speak up and just b/c it’s complicated doesn’t mean others are wrong.