Attention please. Do you remember the incident which took place on,September 26th, regarding two Black British women being turned away at London Dstrkt night club for being too Dark and Overweight, the women reported that the manager of the club looked at them and they were told that they were ‘ugly and too dark to enter the club’, this is the same night club that makes ridiculous amount of money off the appearance of famous Black celebrities such as Jay Z, Will smith and Kanye West.
Black women are constantly discriminated against and ridiculed for the colour of their skin by the media and by society, unfortunately even within the Black community shadeism is still a huge issue. The false dichotomy of light skin over dark skin is perhaps one of the most damaging legacies of chattel enslavement.
Below is a statement by Malachi Butt-Mukete in his article LIGHT VRS DARK SKIN, which highlights the danger of shadeism and the destruction it causes in the African and Black community.“Growing up, I was unfortunately dubbed a “lightie”. An arbitrary term of ignorant endearment used to describe black people of a fairer complexion. Admittedly I enjoyed being labelled in this way. I enjoyed the separation I gained from my darker skinned friends and the inevitable appeal that being a “lightie” brought (especially when it came from girls!).The most worrying thing about my enjoyment of this situation is that my fairer complexion facilitated the denial of my “African-ness.”
Despite the fact my father was born in Cameroon, and my mother being born in the Caribbean of African descent; it never occurred to me that someone of my complexion could identify as fully being black, let alone African. (As if African is a higher gradation of blackness). My reason for raising this issue is to highlight the damaging affect that shadeism has in our community.
The fairer skin among us can no longer gain the tangible rewards of masses favour and thus any elevated status we grant ourselves or is granted to us is completely false and only serves to further divide us. It is also important to remember that any reversal in this prejudice i.e. darker skin blacks claiming that fairer skin people are not “black” enough, is equally as damaging. Although not on mass, I have noticed this trend. I made a point at an African community meeting and unfortunately a lady hinted that my point should be taken with a pinch of salt due to my fairer complexion. I must stress, this is not a common issue, but anything that creeps into our community and divides us must be ironed out’.
Highlighting the issue is not enough. Which is why we have chosen to support and promote Miss Afro Beauty, their agenda goes beyond the celebration of beauty, but rather it is about wholeness, to nurture and encourage positive growth in Black women. Empowering them to become what they have always wanted to be. They encourage education, self awareness, etiquette and decorum.
The founder of Miss Afro Beauty Ruth Mukete eloquently stated ‘My vision with Miss Afro Beauty is to create a platform which allows young girls of African and Caribbean descent to do more for themselves. I also believe that having a cultural background makes us unique and is essential to who we are. I created this to encourage and empower young women like myself to believe in themselves, take advantage of the opportunities presented to them and developing themselves through the medium of a pageant’
Miss Afro Beauty is aimed at raising the aspirations, self belief and confidence of young black women who otherwise would be left to form part of another statistic while at the same time sending a direct message to the status quo that not only black but young people such as myself are cultured, appreciate education and are hard-working.
Afrokanist Magazine strongly believes that you have to be the change you want to see. Be part of the game changers by taking part in the new campaign by Miss Afro Beauty, all you need to do is to #BritishBlackBeauty on Instagram or twitter with a picture of yourself. You could also take part by sharing beauty stories with the same hashtag #BritishBlackBeauty
The idea is to try and make it trend in lieu of all the horrible stories that have trend regarding black women being sent away/refused entry to venues/job offers withdrawn just for being black.
For more information please do messeage Afrokanist@yahoo.co.uk