Colourism And Raising Children

Firstly, allow me to apologise again for the delay in this podcast coming out.

I literally flew in from Antigua yesterday for a friends wedding and although I tried to hit the ground running, motherhood and life took precedence!

Skin colour shades

This episode will be quite timely as Spice (Dancehall artist) has just caused a storm in social media.  A series of images were released of her with extremely lighter skin.  Most Instagram pages went on the attack with a huge uproar about her supposed bleached skin.

The images actually turned out to be from her video called ‘Black Hypocrisy’ where she explains that her own people consistently tell her that she’s ‘too dark/black’. However, if she were to lighten her skin, those same people would still criticise her.  Essentially, she cannot win.

The video has racked up over a million views in two days, so Im happy to say she is definitely getting her message out there.

Colourism and children

This recording came just a few days after Ghetts (Grime artist) released a song dedicated to his daughter called Black Rose.

Have a read of the lyrics below:

My daughter she a princess
The world ain’t slaughtering her skin yet
These kayne’s have not become important to the kim’s yet
But when she gets older they’ll be brothers same colour as her Pappa, who will not be showing any sort of interest
Have mercy on my brothers yea
Disrespecting women who remind them of their mothers
Disrespecting women who remind them of their sisters
Disrespecting women who remind them of their cousins
Have mercy on my brothers
Everyone’s entitled to their own taste
But every time you pricks make a statement I can find a rival in my own race
I love all types a women
Variety is ok

But society will throw shade
So who’s fighting for the sisters then
When their brother keep on dissing them
Try and picture justin as a little one
Daddy was around but I was raised by the women them
Nan aunts mummy
Black woman significance
So fuck you and your ignorance
When I was young I had Ashanti on my wall
And there was pictures of my family in the front room with certificates
University graduates and good citizens
Baby keep doing you
Don’t let the world ruin
No matter what they say you are beautiful
Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder
And we don’t know who is who
So who are they to slew when they slewing you?

Listen to the track here.  So important and moving.  Thank you Ghetts!

As much as we are all pretty much educated in colourism, it can still rear its head in the most random of places.  Just recently, someone made a comment about my daughters complexion and hair texture.

‘Why isn’t she darker?  Her dad is really dark!’

‘Why is her hair so curly like a mixed raced person? She’s not mixed and her dad is Ghanaian?’

It is my duty as a parent to ensure that my daughter never allows other peoples prejudices to affect how she feels about herself.  I must instil in her that no matter what shade of black she is, that is beautiful none the less.

Whilst she was in my womb I would sing songs to her about how beautiful she is and continue to do so today, several times a day.  I want her to be so comfortable in her skin, that peoples words and comments ricochet into the atmosphere.

I will never tell her that her hair is tough, picky, nappy or hard to deal with.  If I do, am I not reinforcing the same stereotypes we are trying to get rid of?

Confidence is everything and if I can affirm to her daily that she is the most special, beautiful and intelligent girl in the world, she will believe it.

My daughter in all her gorgeousness!

If she believes it she will aspire higher and the world will be her oyster.  The world is already hard enough without parents, family and friends also playing a hand into how society will see our little black and brown girls.

AFFIRMATIONS AFFIRMATIONS AFFIRMATIONS

This weeks episode features a good friend of mine who also has a daughter a year older than mine.  Our daughters get on very well and I would be extremely blessed if their sisterhood continued into adulthood.

I hope you enjoy this episode and please do not forget to follow us on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud or this blogging site to get early releases and bonus content.

Take care of yourselves and speak words of positivity into your children.

Dionne x 

 

 


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