So, I’m reading H Rap Brown alias Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin’s ‘Die Nigger’. The book generally talks about black people in the U.S.A and how whites and other Negroes relate with and live with them. I’m on the page where he talks about skin tones. How light skinned Negroes are viewed as Negroes who are closer to white people because of their lighter complexion, and how it is somehow an advantage if your skin color is lighter than that of other blacks. Dark skinned Africans are born and grow up feeling inferior to light skinned Africans. There tends to be some form of segregation (for lack of a better word) among Africans, as those of a lighter complexion feel like they are in a different class from their counterparts with dark skin, and are treated that way.
Below is an excerpt of what I’m reading.
As I was reading through the pages, I couldn’t help but think of such characters in Kenya. In the recent past, especially with the internet around, we Kenyans and Africans by extension, have for a while now, regarded people who have a lighter skin complexion as better than the rest. We tend to worship brown skin, (or Yellows as light skinned people are locally known) and look down on folks especially girls who are dark-skinned as less humans. That’s an unsavory and filthy culture we are developing in us. We crack jokes and stereotype dark-skinned women, and even label them as less beautiful than light-skinned women. That’s abysmal and I really wish it could stop. As a result of constant mocking and being despised, a lot of black people have resorted to using skin lightening creams and lotions. Creams which have a lot of negative effects if not used well. I have done some research on this and have seen people suffer after using skin lightening creams for a while. Some even bleach their bodies thinking they’ll appear prettier; Ignorance. I hate to say this, but bleaching your skin doesn’t enhance your beauty. You actually look dumb and are suffering from self-esteem issues. You need help, go get some help if you need to raise your self esteem. And don’t bleach your skin and give silly reasons like, “It’s my life, and my body, or Imma try this bleaching stuff ‘cause YOLO.” ( I think that YOLO phrase is witless. It’s also now becoming a cliché . Of course you only live once, no need to remind us, not unless if you’re Lazarus, or Jesus Christ) You actually sound dumber if you do some stupid shit and go like ‘YOLO!’.
It’s also vital to note that white people don’t categorize black people according to their skin complexions like we do. To a white man, there’s no Yellow, brown or chocolate; black people are black no matter the amount or kinds of melanin in their skin.
I never intended to write a blog post for H Rap Brown aka Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin’s ‘Die Nigger Die’, I’m yet to finish the book. I had thought of posting a tweet, but my characters exceeded 140. The book is a short one too, If you don’t have much to do, you can read it in two days; 145 pages.
I’m glad that I came across this book. Hadn’t actually planned on reading it anytime soon. I came across it last night while looking at my other files and started reading it. I feel what the author has penned and each time I complete a paragraph, I can’t help but compare things in the U.S and back here at home. Yes, there’s still some modern day colonization, and not by whites, but by fellow blacks. I’ve seen two types of oppression done by blacks on/to blacks. One, some blacks who have made it and are extremely successful treat the not so successful with contempt and as slaves, subjecting them to unjust treatment because they’re poor. Mean. The other type is that by light skinned black people who treat the darker skinned ones like apes. This group of people sucks, because unlike success, you can’t change the skin color you were born in. I really hope that in the near future, we, blacks will stop looking at each other as light-skinned Africans vs. Dark skinned Africans. I wish to see an end to racial marginalization, and ethnic and shades of dark complexion marginalization (If there’s such a thing) among Africans. I wish that we’ll stop looking at each other as White people or Black people, Or Asian people and just address and treat each other as human beings. Shall we?
P.S: Reading about Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin’s life, one can tell that he has quite a history. From his early days, his activism, his conversion to Islam, to his arrest and sentencing, there’s so much that one can say about him.