Panel to discuss skin color issue

By Dawn C. Brown

Many students will be discussing exactly how they feel about the color of their skin and stereotypes placed upon them within their own race.

Neptune Hall’s Black Student Caucus will be having a panel discussion on light-skinned blacks versus dark-skinned blacks today in Neptune Trident lounge at 9 p.m.

Willard Draper will be the moderator of the discussion. “I think it’s a great discussion item to deal with. Even though it’s less of an issue since the afrocentric 50s and 60s, we need to discuss it to see if there is a problem and why,” Draper said.

He said most people initially will reject they feel that way. “There also will be some admitting they do feel that way,” Draper said. People will hear the light-skinned individuals express their problems and experiences.

“Some people do tend to have it still ingrained in their heads that they are better than others because of the color of (their) skin. Panels point out different levels of thought within any community,” he said.

Valeri Blackful, a member of Neptune’s Black Student Caucus, said light-skinned girls always have been stereotyped. “With my being a light-skinned black, I have had more problems with darker-skinned black girls than I have with whites or black guys. They automatically assume that since I’m (light-skinned), I must be stuck up.”

Blackful said, black males tend to believe that light-skinned females are prettier than dark-skinned girls. “Because of this stereotype, dark-skinned girls automatically think that because I’m (light-skinned,) I easily get all the guys,” she said.

“This simply isn’t true. I have never turned my nose up at any guy or not spoken to any guy as long as I am being respected. I’ve lost many friends and been in many fights over this issue. It’s like a whole new prejudice,” Blackful said.

She said this panel discussion will help many black students realize a lot of the rumors that have been going around. “I think it’s a problem that needs to be approached. I’ve been referred to as “yellow” or “red-boned.”

Senior Yolanda McDonald said her views are a little different. McDonald said guys date light-skinned girls more than dark-skinned girls. “I have had a lot of guys tell me that they never date dark-skinned girls before,” she said.

McDonald said television has a lot to do with the stereotype. She said there are not enough dark-skinned girls on television. “Black guys tend to believe that light and bright is pretty and dark girls are not as attractive,” she said.

“A lot of light-skinned girls tend to only want to date dark-skinned guys. Also, dark-skinned guys tend to only want to date light girls. I guess opposites attract. However I still believe that dark-skinned girls don’t get enough publicity,” McDonald said.

“The panel will help guys see how stupid the problem is and that there is no reason behind it. Guys are creating this problem,” McDonald said.