“YOU BLACK AS SHIT!”

A Confession of My Own Self-Hatred …

I was not always the conscious, freethinking Black man that I am today. For a long time, I was the exact opposite. I was ashamed of my dark skin and my facial features. My shame stemmed from being constantly teased in school. Classmates would tease me about my dark skin and facial features, saying, “Yooo, you Black as shit!”, “Ya ugly Black ass never gone get no girls!” and “Ill! You look like a monkey!” While in school, I sat and listened as the whole class laughed. I either laughed with them or cried. These experiences led to me being ashamed of the way that I looked. Along with other worries and thoughts I thought, “If everyone is laughing at my dark skin and facial features then there I must be ugly and my skin isn’t beautiful.” Ultimately, I went through life looking down on dark skin people. I loved light skin women (it was more like lust). I would look past dark skin girls/women, and stare at light skin girls/women. It even went as far as me thinking that dark skin girls were dirty and light skin girls were clean. When it came to sex, I would tell people that eating light skin pussy is heaven, that it tastes like peaches, strawberries and that the shit is good! I would say not to go near dark skin pussy, don’t even put your face near it. My disgust with dark sin girls stemmed from my being mocked about my dark skin, and I felt justified in having negative thoughts about dark skin women. I thought that no one could tell me differently.

I was never encouraged to think differently about my dark skin. My parents even subconsciously encouraged my negative thoughts about dark skin. My father jokingly–though I never took it as a joke– called me ugly from time-to-time, and my mother, because I had an under-bite, took me to a dental surgeon. I was afraid of getting the surgery, and I often expressed this to my mother, but she constantly tried to make me feel better by telling me, “It may hurt and your mouth will swell for around a month, but you’ll look a lot more handsome.” In the home I was raised in, saying no or having options was not a possibility, so at the end of my senior year of high school I had the surgery. Upon healing from the surgery, I was more confident. I liked looking in the mirror a lot more, and I smiled more. I began to look people in the eyes, more often, when they spoke to me. I was less ashamed, but I still didn’t like my dark skin.

I went through undergrad and half of grad school continuing to look down on dark skin until I had a long, heated debate with a loved one. This loved one taught me that my views on dark skin was hatred, self-hatred. After our conversations, I gradually became more conscious, and started to love myself as a dark skin Black man. I also began to appreciate other dark skin people.

Regardless of how I was influenced when I was younger, I am now ashamed of the person I used to be. It was disgusting. I will admit that I HATED dark-skinned people. Now I know that black beautiful and I am beautiful. My natural, nappy hair is beautiful, my dark skin is beautiful, and my Afrocentric facial features are beautiful.

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4 comments on ““YOU BLACK AS SHIT!”

  1. Kids used to tease my hair. They still do, but I don’t care.

    I never got around to hating myself. Folk thought I was brilliant back in the day. White man can’t fool everyone.

    Thank your loved one!

  2. Growing up as a Hispanic Jewish woman I had a very interesting upbringing. I am light skin, with light eyes, hair and a sizable nose – I was shunned by my Hispanic friends because I was not Hispanic enough. My family members are darker than eye, with olive skin and dark eyes/hair. So I used to dye my hair dark and tan – I have pictures and I look more like a caricature of what Hispanic women look like than anything else. Super chola: dark lined lips, drawn in eye browns. I was so desperate to belong, I thought I needed to be categorized to be individualized. On the other side I wasn’t Jewish enough to belong either. I didn’t speak Hebrew, I had/have no interest in religion, I might of looked like them but I wasn’t one of them. It took me a long time to be comfortable with my curves, my nose, appreciate my light eyes and skin, and find my own style. I don’t think I’ll ever nail it completely and that’s fine; I keep learning, growing and polishing myself.

  3. As a dark skin girl all I can say is Wow. To come such a long way from your own self-hatred is truly remarkable, and I hope that others in the black community are able to reach such an achievement.

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