Noah Pearson, Columnist
Follow them at @tbhimscared
If you’re Black, you’re Black.
Read it again, take it in, for many non-Black readers this sentence may not seem controversial, however, to many Black readers this statement is among the most derogatory statements possible.
In America today, two things are very popular: research on one’s ancestry, and colorism. For many, being born Black is perceived as a blight or curse because of the way Black people are treated in this country.
When we can analyze our history and find non-Black roots, many Black people flock and boast about being Dominican or Brazilian despite what their hair and skin color truly reveal about their roots.
Representation of positive dark-skin role models are few and far between in social media or even positions of power and respect. Often times, the few major Black leaders we observe take action to do what appears as purposefully separating themselves from the rest of the Black community. Some leaders get into power and can continue this trend un-checked for eight whole years.
This underrepresentation as well as this shame of our skin tone is what leads to this desperation to deny our heritage and grasp onto whatever roots that don’t make us seem Black.
This problem seems to be minute until it reaches politicians.
In the Dominican Republic, a country once colonized by Spain, and a part of the African Diaspora, shares the island of Hispaniola with the country Haiti. Haiti was the first independent Black nation in the western hemisphere. Slaves in Haiti revolted against Napoleon’s regime and won them their freedom and assisted Dominicans in doing the same.
Today, overt ethnic discrimination exists in the Dominican Republic and culturally it manifests itself as anti-Black discrimination.
In America, many people with roots in the Afro-Latin part of the African Diaspora claim strong ties to the Latin part of their identity. This become a problem when they claim superiority over other non Latinx Black people.
Because of the prevalence of colorism in America, it becomes easy to disconnect oneself from their own Blackness, even if it means denying obvious parts of their identity.
While we all have a right to self identify with our own ancestry as we please, there cannot be a disconnect between what an individual says about their own identity vs. what their skin color says about their identity, especially when that disconnect is overtly anti-Black.
If you’re reading this and you’re Black, you’re Black.