Colorism, a form of discrimination based on skin color, continues to be a pervasive issue in society. It affects individuals within communities of color, perpetuates harmful stereotypes, and limits opportunities for those with darker skin tones. TK Saccoh, the founder of The Darkest Hue, an Instagram account dedicated to combating colorism, highlights the damaging effects of this prejudice.
The recent example of FN Meka, an AI-generated rapper, signing with Capitol Records Music Group sparked a conversation about the exploitation of Black culture and the perpetuation of light-skin bias. Saccoh argues that the entertainment industry’s preference for lighter-skinned avatars like FN Meka and Shudu reinforces harmful stereotypes and excludes darker-skinned individuals from opportunities.
Saccoh created The Darkest Hue to provide a safe space for Black and brown dark-skinned femmes to share their experiences and challenge colorism. She noticed a lack of representation for dark-skinned individuals on social media and sought to create a community where their voices could be heard.
However, Saccoh’s fight against colorism extends beyond her Instagram account. She acknowledges that colorism is deeply ingrained in society, with roots tracing back to colonialism and white supremacy. Eurocentric beauty standards have perpetuated the preference for lighter skin, making it difficult to address colorism as a discriminatory issue rather than a mere preference.
Dr. Seanna Leath, an expert in psychological and brain science, explains that colorism is distinct from racism but exists within communities of color. It involves intra-racial prejudice, where individuals show bias or hold prejudicial beliefs towards others with darker skin tones. Saccoh aims to address not only colorism but also other forms of intra-racial violence, such as sexism, featurism, fatphobia, queerphobia, and ableism.
Fostering open dialogues about colorism is crucial to understanding its real-life impact. Beyond social media, colorism affects access to safety, education, and care for dark-skinned individuals and those who belong to marginalized groups. By challenging colorist beliefs and promoting inclusivity, Saccoh’s platform strives to create a more equitable and accepting society.
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