The House Negro vs. The Field Negro

The color of one’s skin plays a big role in the concept of beauty, or on a negative note, self hate. The idea that lighter skinned people are more appealing than darker skinned people traces back to the times of slavery. In today’s society, the “darker” individual is seen to be inferior to the “lighter” individual, this idea has stopped the African American community from reaching it’s full potential and becoming united as one. The separation of the “lighter” and “darker” has been a continuous concept, created during slavery. The fairer skinned slave was given the privilege to live and work in the house, while the darker skinned slave had no privileges and worked and lived outside, in a hut that had little to none amenities.

Malcom X along with numerous other individuals have touched bases with the idea of “House Negro vs. Field Negro”, in his speech, “Message to Grassroots”, X spoke on the fact that the house slaves believed that they were the same as their master, meanwhile the field slaves knew the truth, they knew that they were deserving of better treatment and lifestyles. While speaking on the fact that the house slaves were nearly obsessed with their masters X discussed how the lighter slaves were practically brainwashed to think that their lifestyles were as good as life could possibly be, “And if you came to the house Negro and said, “Let’s run away, let’s escape, let’s separate,” the house Negro would look at you and say, “Man, you crazy. What you mean, separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than these? Where can I eat better food than this?” Malcolm X’s speech spoke lots of volume, it is true that lighter African Americans believe that they are better, or even more attractive than darker African Americans, which in reality it is far from the truth. The division of lights and darks was created by Willie Lynch, his guide to being a successful slave master included ideas of separating the lighter slaves and the darker slaves. In today’s society women and men are still judged based on their skin tone.

The idea of light-skins and dark-skins being different from one another is a topic that will never die, it is even a topic that is discussed on social media. The creation of Twitter hashtags like #teamlightskin and #teamdarkskin have shown that this concept is still relevant. Spike Lee’s “School Daze” and Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry’s “Dark Girls” have even touched bases on the sad concept of colorism.

In closing, all shades of black are beautiful, we as African American men and women need to come together and take pride in our melanin. There should be no such thing as colorism, the shade of one’s skin should not matter and it should not define who they are as an individual. Our men need to open their eyes and realize that a strong, black woman is a prized possession, and that they should appreciate us for everything that we are, sassy, classy, and graceful. “I am dripping melanin and honey. I am black without apology.” — Upile

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