The Problem of the 21st Century is…

“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line — the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the Islands of the sea.  It was a phase of this problem that caused the Civil War”.

The Souls of Black Folk was published in 1903 by William Edward Burghardt Dubois and there are still remnants of this problem in the second decade of the 21st century.  From #TeamLightskin to #TeamDarkskin, the color line is still a factor within the black community.  Separating ourselves into these subcategories is proof we believe in our own inferiority.

#TeamLightskin v. #TeamDarkSkin is “Good or Bad Hair” reincarnated in the contemporary era.   The very study or inquiry between light skin African Americans and dark skin African Americans is detrimental to the unity of the black community.  The black community has never been on the same page about anything and quick to blame everything on BET Tyler Perry Ronald Reagan  slavery. At what point does accountability come into play?

Hegel, a rather contradictory philosopher, said all great world-historic facts and personages appear, as to speak, twice.  October 10, 1963, Malcolm X wrote a letter to the grassroots.  He briefly offered a dichotomy between the house negro and the field negro.

“And today you still have house negroes and field negroes. I’m a field negro”

This ideology of dividing African Americans through a hierarchy based on skin color still permeates our society.  It doesn’t take a genius to realize we are far from a post-racial society.  Seriously, just take a look at Dr. Satoshi Kanawaza’s study Why Black Women Are Unattractive.

Black women are less attractive than white, Asian, and Native American women.  And there’s a scientific proof. 

His main “scientific proof” was that African American women have existed longer in evolutionary history than other races.  It’s a wonder why he didn’t study African American males in the same context.  Dr. Kanawaza was fired from the London School of Economics.

What is the problem of the 21st century? #TeamLightSkin. #TeamDarkSkin. #TeamRaciallyAmbiguous. #TeamIvyLeague. #TeamMinaj #TeamCoonery. #TeamBourgeois. #TeamSexism. #TeamClassism.  The list goes on and on. Organization becomes difficult when the masses are divided as so. To get over inferiority, change the way you think. Don’t be persuaded by propaganda.  The media is quick to instill these stereotypes and enforce them into your self-conscious.  It’s up to us, as a people, to destroy these stereotypes by not reinforcing them into our communities.

Recollect your thoughts don’t get caught up in the mix, cause the media is full of dirty tricks. -Tupac

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5 Comments

June 28, 2011 · 2:53 am

5 responses to “The Problem of the 21st Century is…

  1. Sheneita Graham

    What I truly take away from this piece is, “It’s up to us, as a people, to destroy these stereotypes by not reinforcing them into our communities.”
    I think the color complex within Black communities continues to be perpetuated because people don’t see how deep and long-lasting the effects of such division are. If you’re “#TeamLightSkin,” it’s almost impossible to see how negatively this issue can affect the self-esteem and mental health of those who are darker skinned, and if you’re “#TeamDarkSkin,” you may or may not realize the impact this complex truly has on you and Black people as a whole. Being unaware in this way makes it easy for this problem to be a joke or Twitter war, but I feel the more open dialogues that are had on the topic, the more aware people will be. That’s the only way these stereotypes will not continue to be reinforced in our communities.

    • I agree that the more open dialogues that are had on the topic, the more aware people will be. It’s important to educate the community, then change the community. Self-esteem is definitely an issue. What do phrases like “#TeamLightSkin is out” do to one’s identity or esteem?

  2. To me, the ideas of #TeamLightSkin and #TeamDarkSkin are simply manifestations of ignorance. To also draw from the inspiration of this blog, W.E.B. DuBois, the world looks on us with amused contempt and pity because we think there is a social hierarchy embedded in a greater hierarchy. To artificially conjure up a class structure within an already subjugated group is sad because it holds no real value outside of that domain. For example, if a greatly simplified version of the American hierarchy places White Americans at the top and Black Americans at the bottom, who really cares if #TeamOneTypeOfBlack is on top of #TeamOtherTypeOfBlack? You’re still both classified as Black America and are still seen as less-than.

    I definitely agree with your proposition to get over being so divided. We don’t have the luxury. While it is true that Blacks are not a monolithic group, we don’t have to base every interaction on our differences.

    • It is really an age old battle with the deciding factor being who is really the lesser of the two evils. We become enraged when outsiders treat us as if we are lesser than. Why do we do it to ourselves? We become the very thing we complain about.

  3. Kead

    GREAT POST!!

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