Discovering Melanin

Imagine. Just for a second.

You were born into a family of giants and you, well, you were just normal.

That is my dilemma. Not exactly, though. I know height probably doesn’t compare to something as sensitive as skin tone in the black community. But it is something that a person cannot change.

In my immediate family, my mother and father are what people call red bone. You know light-skinned or, in more explicit terms, “pretty.” Both my sisters fit the bill and me, well, I guess I’m just different. I hopped out five pounds of warm chocolate cream.

My family LOVED it, seriously. My sisters would always tell me how much they loved my skin and my parents always found an excuse to pinch my cheeks. They never made me feel different. I noticed it though, as I started to grow. My sisters and I went through the dress/make up stage. And I quickly discovered that I couldn’t wear the same color foundation or use the same color schemes for my lips or eyes as they could.

It made me feel slightly left out but they assured me that it wasn’t a big deal and that I should just get over it. So, I did.

Until a student at our school pointed out my difference. My sisters and I were close in age so sometimes we attended the same school. One day during a conversation with myself, my sisters, and a fellow student, she points out our relation. She asks, “y’all got the same daddy?” The young lady already knew that my sisters were related but when she discovered I was related to them, the questions arose. As if two African-Americans couldn’t produce two pretty light-skinned girls and one pretty brown-skinned baby girl.

I get that the racial stigmas in the black community stem from a very dark time in American history however I didn’t think that darkness was still upon us.

Those childhood experiences had me believe that the blackness I experienced was somehow different from my brothers and sisters who a share lighter skin tone and, therefore, a “lighter’ form of the experience of blackness.

Let’s get this straight. All black is beautiful, what’s more, so is blue, red, white, and gold. Why, you ask?

Because God says so.

He created all of us.

Unique, wonderful, different and marvelous in every way.

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