Loving Your Black, Bold, and Beautiful Self

beautiful dark skin

It saddens my heart to think that people of color harbor such depreciating, stereotypical ideas, handed down through embittered western cultures who once likened skin color to being less than or non existent to the human race. The fact that the “field slaves” and “house slaves” mentality is still evident within our own race in 2014 makes me pity my people for not loving themselves for the beauty in their DNA. We are a rainbow of colors from the lightest light to the darkest night, and we are beauty personified!

 I praise God for my parents, Southern folks of pride who loved every one of their children in all their shades of blackness. My mother was dark as the country night and my father, a mixture of copper and gold, but, neither ever referenced one as being born better than the other. My siblings and I didn’t grow up comparing skin tones or shying away from our darker community of brothers and sisters.  There was no envy for the ‘high yellow” cousin or aunt or uncle or friend. I am discouraged by this continued ignorance and disrespect of pride for who we are as black folks, carried on by black folks.

The lyrics of an old Negro spiritual goes “There’s an army rising up, there’s an army rising up-Break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.”

Black, bold and beautiful girls should be exalted in their blackness and break the chain of hatred and abuse. Somewhere we have forgotten to show our children the beauty in their black skin. Young dark girls like my granddaughter and your daughters should be held in esteem as an example of the rich heritage of their Nubian ancestors. There aren’t enough role models and champions for dark skin girls.

Model and entrepreneurs, Iman and Naomi Campbell and actress, Gabrielle Sidibe, helped put darker skinned women on the map in mainstream America. The most recent dark skinned girl, Lupita Nyong’o, is causing quite a stir after appearing in the stellar movie, “12 Years a Slave” and winning best supporting actress at this year’s Academy Awards. Even the Kenyan president exalted the young actress who had never acted before, for making the country of Kenya shine.

She will undoubtedly become the role model that young girls will look to for validation in their need to feel that they are enough. Lupita exudes confidence, brilliance and self love. The soft spoken, but, fierce young woman standing proud in her naturally nappy afro illuminates from the beauty of her being and encourages young girls to step into their dark skinned selves by loving themselves for who they are and for who they are going to become in a world that has not always been fair to them.

 It is well past the time to break the chain of the old ways and embrace the beauty of our differences. I’ve never had a problem with the skin I’m in, and I’ve never faltered from encouraging the beauty in my granddaughter’s dark as night complexion- she is my Nubian queen, and she is love.

 I will never understand the mindset of a people who loathe the very mirror of themselves. It has to be a form of “bamboozled” ignorance and ugliness inside their souls.  It is past time for Black folks to change this negative mindset and see the beauty in their blackest of black and perhaps they will realize the awesomeness of being a person of color.

-Clara Freeman

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