My understanding is the paper bag test wasn't exclusive to Howard. I get where you're coming from with judging on a case-by-case basis, but I judge EVERYBODY on a case-by-case basis. I've met some folks my own complexion or darker who I love and respect, and some I just can't fucking stand. Same goes for light-skinned folks. My issue is just automatically counting them out, as if their opinions don't matter.

In the same breath people cheered for Jesse Williams ("Grey's Anatomy") for his "white people, sit down speech," they then decided in the same breath that he was the enemy for the way he announced the Emmett Till project.

The same folks who will cheer on Kendrick Sampson for going to the peaceful rallies downtown will discredit him a millisecond later for being "the light-skinned one" on "Insecure."

We. Are. Not. Helping. Each. Other. We are just doing a great job of separating what should be a united front. I never said the effects of colorism isn't real. That's why I pointed out ALL of the stuff dark-skinned women and men face (and the post linked about my cousin). I have had a couple scream-to-make-my-point conversations with my light-skinned mother, who has had some oblivious moments, too. But she’s still my mother, and the only thing I can do is point something out to her that she simply does not see or never experienced. Just going “Forget it. You’re light-skinned. You don’t know” isn’t helping. It’s also not assisting in changing the situation. But I swear sometimes we get in our own way too. Just my opinion. Thank you for your thoughts.

Written by

Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store