My grandmother has a problem. She’s obsessed with white folks. She is always asking me about the white guy I dated in high school like 18 years ago!! [2013 UPDATE: Make that 21 yrs ag0] My mouth just drops open when she starts telling me how much more cultured white guys are than black guys. That they’re smarter and better looking. She used to love telling me that I should get back with him so I wouldn’t end up with any black-skin babies. WTF!!!???
I mean what really could I say? This is my grandmother talking. I just gave a little smile and an ‘Oh Granny’ as she started to insist she was right.
‘Is true! Dey smart you know. An you don’t want no black black baby right? Trust me, my mudda was a white lady, I know what I say’
Just like most other colored folk in the world, West Indians got skin color issues. Light, bright and damn near white is a good thing. Even better is if you’re dougla, an East Indian & black mix. Douglas got that good hair everyone envies. Thick, black and wavy. And even within the Indian populations on the island there are color issues.
And what’s confusing is how ‘what’s hot’ changes depending on your circle or circumstance. Growing up I heard it all. One day folks loved my long, thick hair. The next they hated on my skin color ‘Look! She color like piss! Eh, I can see you vein right tru ya skin’. Now I usually get the reverse. ‘Tings easy for you yes? Every man love a yellow gyal. Steuupps, she tink she someting with that hair, eh? ‘[insert eye roll here]
But the color complex is here to stay. You can’t have such a varied group of people living, working & playing together without someone calling you out your name. Is just how you deal with it that matters. Don’t let ya head get puff up with compliments, or your heart get crushed with the badtalkin’.
And when granny starts carryin’ on about Chad, Bob or John from your foray across the color line, don’t bother argue wit she. You cyan’t change granny mind, and you cyan’t shut her down. Just smile and nod, cuz just now she gonna start yellin’ at your brother for not calling her often enough,‘Oh you don’t love ya grandmudda! I could DEAD and you wouldn’t know!’. Thats the best time to make your escape.
Have you grown up with any skewed teachings re: color / race? How did that affect you? Do you still harbor any feelings (negative or positive) about it? Do you find that you are carrying the same attitudes as well? Tell me nuh?!