There are far more than 50 shades of black. So why continue to devalue someone else for not having yours? Black comes in an abundance of captivating shades, yet colorism, color discrimination, and prejudice persist.
It becomes a topic that is often thrown under the rug at a table of conversation in the Black community. Ladies, as we stay at home adjusting to the effects of this COVID-19 pandemic, now is the perfect time to practice self-love and owning your crown.
A little history of colorism, the term was coined by the phenomenal Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker in 1982, defining the word as “prejudicial or preferential treatment of the same race people based solely on their color”. Historically, if you were Black with a darker skin complexion you were considered inferior to someone with lighter skin which originated from the era of slavery.
For centuries, colorism has been fueled by White standards, purposely creating a cultural divide within the black community – essentially creating interracial/intraracial colorism. From then on, the association with darker skin being the more “unattractive” skin tone became social normality rooted within colonialism and white supremacy. The infamous “pretty for a black girl” phrase would continue to stick in the language of non-black races, referring to an attractive African American woman with darker skin.
As an African American millennial, I’ve made it my mission to own my crown. Stepping upon the grounds of the highest of seven hills, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, the best Historically Black College and University (HBCU), was the moment where I felt that I could finally use my crown to its full potential. As a first-year Broadcast Journalism student hailing from Tampa, Florida, I chose to use my melanin power as a gateway to self-love and pour myself into the School of Journalism and Graphic Communications (SJGC) Program.
I began to use my crown as a voice, becoming a staff writer for Journey, the school’s award-winning magazine, and later on creating my own YouTube Talk Show series “The Orange Room”. This is where I will continue to dedicate my passion for journalism as a platform to create a community for all young black girls that aspire to use their crown to cultivate.
As an African American millennial, I’ve made it my mission to own my crown.
In a new world of social media overload, you can check out so many platforms and Instagram pages that never fail to uplift and inspire young black women to showcase their crown. Some of my favorites are @lovebrwn and @blackerthings that dedicate their pages to the aesthetic, self-love, and relationships of black culture, embracing each and every unique skin tone and hair type, for both men and women.
So, in today’s times where embracing culture and diversity is slowly making its way to becoming more readily accepted, I encourage the young Black Royal Women to use this time during social distancing to polish and wear your crown. Continue thriving to diminish colorism prejudice, represent our culture, bring awareness of this topic to your community, and inspire a world of beautiful melanin queens one crown at a time. Always remember, your color is your crown!
Amiya Abner is a second-year Broadcast Journalism scholar at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University from Tampa, Florida. As a child, writing and storytelling have always sparked her interest. She currently writes for the university’s award-winning Journey Magazine and Famuan newspaper. Becoming a multimedia journalist and a freelance writer has now become a passion of hers. You can follow Amiya on her Instagram at @_amiya_a and her YouTube Channel, “The Orange Room”.