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My blood has many shades of brown in it — my mother and several of her sisters would be considered "light-skinned" and many of her brothers have darker chocolate skin tones; my father seems to be one of the few medium-skinned folks on his side of the family, with most of the women and men being lighter shades of brown.
I grew up constantly dreaming of a different life, a life where we were not the only black family in my town, a life where I could openly talk about my culture without isolating my peers — a life that couldn't be lived in my small town in New Hampshire.
But as I later learned, colorism didn't just exist in places without people of color. Colorism is the principle that those with lighter, fairer skin are treated with a higher regard than those with darker skin, and it happens both between racial communities and within them.
Believe it or not, slave owners didn't exactly document where their slaves were coming from, and history-erasing of slaves was definitely a thing, too.
It is clear that we have substantial Native Indian blood in our family, and on my dad's side there is Scottish blood that stems from a handsy slave-trader generations ago.
Media outlets have long been accused of using Photoshop to lighten darker-skinned folks in order to make them more appealing to the masses.During Obama's first run for president, sources audaciously pointed out that our first black president was a light-skinned man, suggesting that he may not have been elected or had the same opportunities to be elected if he were darker-skinned.