This is part of that (1)ne Drop photo documentary (the video about it is on my blog). Definitely one of the most powerful images in the group. (And this is obvious evidence of why I was so intrigued…)
This is a quote from the girl in the picture that they share on the website:
“A lot of people just look and see skin color. I’ve actually had people ask me was I Black or was I White first. A White gentleman came up to me and said ‘I thought you might be White, but then I saw your lips.’ One girl said to me ‘I’ve been wanting to ask you this question, but I didn’t feel comfortable asking you because I thought that you might be offended, but are you Black or are you White?’ And I was just like, ‘Well, I’m always Black.’ When we were done with the meat of the conversation, she laughed and said something about my hair and my butt gave it away. People definitely let you know that they view being Black as being very literal – the amount of pigment you have. ‘Your skin is White, therefore you’re White. Or are you?’
I’m only sharing these things not only because I’m interested in them, but because I feel they are things people should know about. It was only in 2000 that people of mixed ancestry were allowed to classify themselves as more than one race on the U.S. census. And when you think about it, the end of black discrimination in America really wasn’t that long ago.
I’m writing an exhibition review paper on this project, and I really found it fascinating…I’ve mentioned it on this blog before; it’s a project by a visiting Africana studies professor at my school, Yaba Blay. They don’t need funding anymore, though.
If I can manage to get the file off my phone I’ll post the recording of her lecture on it soon enough. I remember laughing so much, because she mentioned the #TeamLightSkin and #TeamDarkSkin nonsense on Twitter, and I was like, ohhh my goodnessss, lol, this woman gets it. She’s really cool. I’m so sad I can’t get to be in her class because she’s leaving next year.