The diversity of blackness is, in fact, the beauty of blackness. Everyone in this picture self-identifies as black, and yet we range vastly phenotypically, and all hail from a diverse range of geographic backgrounds and ancestral lines. To place greater significance on one variation to the detriment of another — or to render some points on our hue-tiful spectrum as less significant or less worthy than others — negates our own regality. It also minimizes a major component of what makes our people so dynamic, powerful and MAJESTIC.
But how do we begin to eradicate these damaging beliefs, which were implanted centuries ago, and buttressed by the ravaging effects of racism, colonism and slavery?
This was the topic of our discussion at the Colorism in Fashion + Society panel held on Thursday, June 20, in Brooklyn, New York. I was blessed to serve as the moderator (@culturebykaren) to a phenomenal group of panelists including models Diandra Forrest (@diandraforrest), Nyakim Gatwech (@queennyakimofficial), Yves Mathieu (@the_yvesdropper) and actress/attorney Suzen Baraka (@suzen_baraka_adventures). Everyone came ready to bear witness with vulnerability, honesty, humility + courage. And there were moments that literally took my breath away (video coming soon.)
Special thanks to Forrest Renaissance (@sirforrest) for conceptualizing and hosting this panel discussion and art show, and to my girl Diandra Forrest for tapping me to moderate. GRATEFUL.