Last night Oprah Winfrey premiered two specials dealing with the issue of color in our community.

And “Dark Girls” & “African American Women in Hollywood” brought the discussion over skin tone back to the forefront.

In the latter, Alfre Woodard, Phylicia Rashad, Gabrielle Union and a host of others discussed discrimination they faced in Hollywood competing over roles. The small choice of roles for darker-skinned women caused them to compete in an ugly fashion with one another, and also kept old wounds open in resentment toward lighter-skinned actresses who they felt were consistently chosen for the “better black” roles.

During the conversation Rashad asked: “When will we be able to stop having this conversation?” Her tone seemed marred with frustration being a fairer skinned black women who appeared weary of the “light skin -vs- dark skin” conversation.

In reading commentary about the specials, it is clear to me that the scars and wounds of our past have not healed.

One woman posted:

“Walk a mile in my shoes and you’ll see that dark skinned women are not the only victims of discrimination with in our race. I am a light skinned black woman and I have been mistreated by my own people over the course of my life simply because I am not black enough.”

A man wrote:

“I think its an excuse for not doing better. We can’t always blame the white man, or the light skinned people for our problems. I don’t think light skinned vs dark skinned issues still exist as a whole, only in the minds of those who CHOOSE to keep it alive.”

Do you feel like color discrimination within the black community STILL exists?


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