Post Number: 60
|Posted on Monday, January 02, 2006 - 09:52 pm: |
Very little (academically, almost nothing) has been written specifically about "colorism" itself before the civil rights movement.
It's a subject that has always been shrouded in DENIAL and was something you just did not talk about until very recently.
"The Blacker the Berry" by Wallace Thurman, written in the 1920's is the most thorough and forthright book that deals exclusively with the subject.
Zora Neal Hurston wrote a play called "ColorStruck" circa 1928, which I've never read.
"Passing" by Nella Larsen is not directly about colorism, but shows prime examples and "ideation" of it.
"Maud Martha" by Gwendolyn Brooks is "quietly" about the subject, as it explores what it was like to be a black wife in the 1940's and was published in 1953.
"The Bluest Eye", of course, by Toni Morrison is the next landmark after "The Blacker the Berry". This book deals directly with the issue...showing it as a virus that envelopes the entire community.
Non-fiction works have been slow to really honor the subject.
"In Search of Our Mother's Gardens" by Alice Walkers has several essays that take the subject by the horns and totally lay it bare.
"The Color Complex" by various authors talks about the issue, but I didn't think it was comprehensive or honest enough.
"Don't Play In the Sun" by Marita Golden is the newest and most in depth essay on the phenomenon, and it's quite good.
As you can see....although it pervades and rots our communities, very little has been written about it. Many of the top black feminists and academics (Cornel West, for instance)...DO NOT like to talk about it.
I was so astounded when Johnetta B. Cole and her colleague at Spelman did their last book about feminism and black women---writing the whole history of black women in this country---and yet they failed to mention "colorism"....one single time in the entire 400 something page book.
They pretended that all black women are treated the same and merrily went along writing MOSTLY about the experiences of middle class yellow women.
The most comprehensive tackling of the issue, I believe, EVER...is contained in my autobiography, "Diary of a Lost Girl".