Where should I belongs to?

The popular television show “Blackish” continually explores the dimensions of brown African American women through the character of Bow. She is half white and half black, something that makes her very light for a “black girl” as she has continually been told. Many people do not regard her as being black even though she identifies with this race. She is always seen as an individual who does not understand the struggles of black women even though she goes through the same on a day to day basis because the white community does not identify with her either. Even her husband, Dray, thinks of her as “blackish” because she is closer to white, pursuant to her skin color. The same show showcases a time when Dray has to choose individuals to participate in an advertisement. He has a tendency to pick light skinned women to do the same and his workmates point out that he does not use dark-skinned African Americans because even he has an issue with their skin color and does not see them as worthy of being in an advertisement. Hence, the show highlights the conflicts that exist between brown and dark-skinned African American women who are perceived very differently in today’s society. They each have their unique struggles that emanate from the difference in their color and how society treats them, something that is illuminated through the character of Bow who always has an identity crisis.

In the first reading, the author highlights Marx’s notion of production in the capitalist society in scope of the place of women and how they are compensated. In this case, Marx notes that in a capitalist economy, there is the presence of labor that develops into production, which then creates a need for value exchange.

Here, the goods produced are exchange for their value, often in monetary terms. However, women, who facilitate the production process in terms of the labor they put in a relationship such as through domestic work, rarely get compensation for their work. The author says, “A woman in the traditional social situation produces more than she is getting…….and is a continuous source of surpluses for the man who owns her (Spivak, Landry & MacLean, 2013).” The question that comes to mind is how the society regards light and dark skinned African American women in scope of their value pursuant to the statement the author makes. It is common for light-skinned black women to be treated more fairly because they can easily ass as white, something that is equated to their value in production. In fact, parents of brown-skinned black women feel privileged because they know the value of their daughter who may receive preferential treatment when compared to her darker-skinned counterparts. She is most likely to marry well because of the same and would be better placed to receive employment in upscale firms because of her complexion when compared to the dark-skinned woman. Hence, in today’s society that is highly defined in terms of color, the value of a light-skinned woman is seen as being higher even in the black community.

Take, for instance, the story of the famous blogger, Diamond Durant who talks of her light skin and the experiences she has had because of the same. Here, the blogger says, “I should be happy that I would be more desired for receptionist jobs and I should be overjoyed that if a white boy happened to like me, I would be eligible for a seat at the family dinner table.”

Here, the blogger recalls the moments when the supposed light skin favored her because she was deemed as being better than her dark-skinned counterparts, albeit the fact that the same was killing her inside since she was conflicted about her identity. The same situation was problematic for her because her fellow dark-skinned mates hated her because they thought she automatically got preferential treatment and that she was more beautiful. The same resonates with the statement, “She considers the problem of making women rivals in terms of the men who possess them (Spivak 64). The sentiments highlight the manner in which dark skinned black women hated on the blogger because even men in her community though of her as beautiful.

The concept of beauty is perpetrated by the media as one that is encompassed in how dark or light an African American woman is. The brown woman in this case is portrayed as beautiful and desirable to men because she is closer to being part of the superior white race than her fellow black woman.

The author in the second reading says, “I am white; that is to say that I possess beauty and virtue, which has never been black (Fanon, 2008).” The statement is meant to highlight that black is never associated with the aspect of beauty, where even the black man considers a beautiful woman as someone who brown or light and resembles a white woman in more ways than one. One example that is showcased in the media about the same is through the film, “Just Wright” where the black basketball player chooses to be with the fairer woman because she is the epitome of beauty in the African American community. All these perceptions thus generate a sense of rivalry between the light and dark skinned African American woman, where they are seen as two different women in terms of their beauty and the position they have in the African American society. The same is much like the rivalry that exists between black and white women as premised on their race.

In the reading by Fanon, there is also an excerpt with the following statement, “so, my mother, then was a mixture? I should have guessed when I looked at her light color. I found her prettier than ever……….if she had married a white man, do you supposed I should have been completely white? (Fanon, 2008)” The statement highlights the perceptions of a black girl about a mixed race grandmother that is too light. She showcases a sense of admiration for her grandmother’s complexion because the same is associated with beauty. The narrator is insecure about her black skin because it is different from her grandmother’s. Therefore, the excerpt illustrates the sentiments that are shared by many dark-skinned black girls in the society today, who regard their fellow brown or light counterparts as being beautiful.

Such perceptions were coined from the superiority attached to the white woman who was a symbol of beauty, and the dark one who was more of the opposite. Hence, today, a black girl is seen as lucky is her complexion is brown or light because the position is that she shares the same privilege and beauty as the white woman.