State of Black America Part XI: High Yella Women Stealin' All the Men

"It's so typical, you know? You walk into an event hoping to meet some nice men your age with good jobs, and they're all attached to high yella or white women. It just makes you so mad!!!"

This woman actually tried to have this conversation with me last week. Maybe you thought because we're both brown-skinned ladies (heeeeeey Mos), there would be some sort of solidarity. You are older than me by about 10 years (or more) so I would hope that you would have this out of your system by now. But you don't. I know you have your issues. I know color is something we all have to deal with, but I really can't do it.

We all know black people come in a range of hues. My Uncle James is very dark skinned, my uncle Ferdinand is so pale his childhood nickname was "Banana." Knowing this, how is it possible that you don't have any light-skinned friends and family members? Though the phenomenon called passing is not unusual, it still smacking children and grandchildren in the face when they learn their supposedly white fathers or grandfathers were actually black. Black people have always known about it. For centuries, many white people have just incorrectly assumed they would be able to tell.

To those of you with personal color issues I say this, you should first take a minute to know who you are talking to. For me, when you malign men picking light-skinned women, you are hitting a little too close to home. My mother and sister are light-skinned. So is my grandmother. Do you know why my grandmother is light-skinned with blue eyes? Because her father, John Dixon, was half-white. Yeah. Oh. He is the product of the "union" between a slave and a slave owner with the last name Moffat. I just looked it up on the internet and that's a Scottish last name. Interesting. My great-grandfather's uncle made him a slave on his plantation. That's right, he owned his nephew. Yes, he knew John was his nephew. Great-granddaddy John ran from his home in Arkansas to Mississippi, changed his name, and started a new life. He told his first set of children (from his first wife who died) one thing about his parents and his second set of children another thing about his parents. So we don't know which of his parents was white. If you look at pictures of him, even though they are black and white, you can tell he was very pale.

This next part I will say at the risk of sounding like a white person i.e. "Some of my best friends are black." Besides my family, some of my closest friends are some of these "high yella women stealin all the men." I said to her, "I've honestly never had that issue." She says, "Well you know what I'm saying. I'm not saying you've had a problem finding a date, but you've seen it, too." "I can't worry about other people's actions. A man who is only chosing a mate based on her color is not the man for me." (I seem to be having some version of this conversation a lot lately.) Did it ever occur to you that some people actually have a connection regardless of their complexions? One of my friends recently got married. At the reception her new husband said, "It was like God sent an angel into my life right at the time when I needed her." Pretty sure God doesn't care about your skin color.

None of this is to deny the fact that yes, some men will date women solely because of their skin color. But I will not jump on the bandwagon against the women as a result. That's what the slave owners were aiming for when they started the house negro and field negro separation between the light and dark slaves. I'd rather not keep it going.

State of Black America:
Part X: Noosely Speaking
Part IX: Let Someone In
Part VIII: Nappy-Headed Hos
Part VII: "I'm A Conservative"
Part VI: Education
Part V: Names
Part IV: Rapists and Child Molesters
Part III: Hair
Part II: Katrina
Part I: The Athlete


Unknown said...

black people in america...we really need to wake up. that is ridiculous. you have men who prefer whatever hue over the next. ignorance is bliss i guess. i can't believe people are still classifying lighter toned sisters as "high yella" or "mulatto". the insanity has to stop. black is black, no matter how light or how dark. good post. keep up the good work.

Rashan Jamal said...

"I can't worry about other people's actions. A man who is only chosing a mate based on her color is not the man for me."

^^^That's real right there.^^^

People are still passing?

All-Mi-T [Thought Crime] Rawdawgbuffalo said...

I done heard it all girl. last i heard the heart has no color so i ech Rashan

1969 said...

*sigh* Aren't we past this yet?

I told you that old man in the elevator called me a "redbone" and it took everything I had not to kick him in the neck?

How do we expect folks to stop thinking of us in terms of skincolor when we can't even do it?

KRS one said it best...."Self Destruction.....we're headed for self destruction."

Jameil said...

libra... this is what i'm sayin.

rj... probably not. but there are people who are just coming out to their grown children about their heritage so its knowledge in general society is making a bit of a resurgence.

torrance... the older i get the less i can get caught up in what decisions other people make for themselves.

sixty... if only. my mom gets really vexed when someone refers to her as yellow or red.

dreamyj said...

i completely agree. i think it's time for these men to wake up but that doesn't mean you have to deal with them.

Erica C. said...

The one thing that makes us as a people unique is that we come in a plethora of shades. That's what makes us beautiful. We have to teach our children, especially our girls that regardless of whether they are light complected or dark complected they are queens. And if a man doesn't want to be with them based on their specific shade....he's not worthy to be in her presence.

Great post!

the joy said...

Oh my God I hate that. I feel like people have their attractions and even if there was no light skinned chicks around, some people will always hate. And don't come to me cuz we're the same shade and think we got the same problems. People hate, or make stupid comments like "ooh you got a lightskinned man!" no, I got a good man. How bout we get on that?

Btw my great aunt Alice used to pass. Her kids tend to not acknowledge their blackness as strongly as my grandmother's. And they had a problem when my grandma wanted to marry an American (read: black looking) man. Deep.

CNEL said...

Try spending 3 days with black teenagers who have all types of lineages, and have been told all types of things about their blackness.

Who are dealing with the question of what is black, who is black, what is beautiful, who is beautiful, and who should I date.

I was in a facilitating role not a teaching role, cause I would have told them to look around and get over it. Get over that nonsense that says this is good, and this is bad. Know that our beauty can't be quantified and qualified, it just is.

I hope many of them will come to that realization on their own.

Jameil said...

dreamy... yeah... i say whatever to em. they can get over it or not get over it. either way i'm really not caring.

erica... word.

joy... people get crunk when i date light-skinned dudes, too. its like and?? waaaack. that's so interesting that you have a relative that you know used to pass.

cnel... LAWD!! you couldn't say anything?

proacTiff said...

Jameil's issue: "It's so typical, you know? You walk into an event hoping to meet some nice men your age with good jobs, and they're all attached to high yella or white women. It just makes you so mad!!!"

Pro's issue: It's so typical, you know? I walk into an event hoping to see some grown folk--my age with sagging boobs, and they're all attached to hard bodies with perky boobs, my juniors. It just makes me look so sad!!!"

To be young, hip and fabulous. I shall live vicariously through Jameil...

Jameil said...

pro... lol. hilarious interpretation. that was actually the woman who was talking to me who said that. i'm not gonna be bothered with crazy folk. i shall continue to live fabulously!!!

Karamale said...

"That's what the slave owners were aiming for when they started the house negro and field negro separation between the light and dark slaves."


oh yeh...i tagged you.

pimplife said...

I am a dark-skinned, fairly handsome dude, but I never get any rhythm from my choclit sistas, where as these yella women be all over a dude. So I alomst exclusively date yella women because that's who I have the most success with. I think dark skinned women are beautiful, unfortunately they rarley feel the same way about dark dudes. So I am going to keep dating these high yellas until a choclit sista with her head on right comes along. One love to Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Rhiana, and the Queen of all yella broads HALLE!!!

Dreamlover said...

Is pimplife for real?? I had to login just to say how very crass I think his point is. You missed the mark completely pimp.