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  • Writer's pictureAlicia D Williams

Are we NOW ready to talk about colorism?

Updated: May 14, 2019

Colorism is when we discriminate against people with darker skin tones, AND it happens within the same race. It is such a sensitive subject that it's almost taboo to discuss it. Spike Lee addressed the issue in his movie School Daze, pitting the #teamlightskin "Wanna-be's" against the #teamdarkskin "Jigaboo's". But somehow, the conversation was swept back into the closet.

While writing GENESIS, my fear of being attacked for airing our "dirty laundry" was real. But honestly, I had to move past it because I am a direct witness to brown kindergarteners coming into the classroom and not wanting to color in their skin tones or use the multicultural crayons to reflect their shade of brown...and not just the African-American children either. So yes, I had pull up my pants, squeeze in my stomach, and move forward with this story.

As GENESIS made it's debut on January 15th, the same week Blackish aired an episode tackling the very subject of colorism. (The writers explain here why they took five years to tackle the subject.) And viewers applauded it. Yessss! They handled it perfectly . . . and I'm hoping, for our young people, that we can at last open our closets and windows and talk about this issue.

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