A Black Perspective12 012  A14, 201

Page 16

 June 30, 2012



            Shadism is, to the best of my knowledge, not an English word.  I could not find it in the Webster Dictionary.  For this article, shadism is defined as the hierarchy of social status, within the Black community, based upon the shade of one's skin color.  The oppressed, who most closely physically resemble the oppressor, are granted more privileges.  This explains why the larger American  society favors lighter skinned Blacks.  It does not answer the question of why lighter skin is favored within the Black community.

Historical Focus


            For the most part, the Africans shipped to America as slaves, were dark skinned individuals.  As the slave masters and overseers raped the African women, these unholy unions resulted in light skinned slaves.  As the slave masters' progeny, these slaves often received preferential treatment.  Many of the women were sold into prostitution or as concubines (an aspect of slavery that is often overlooked, is that slave masters sold their own offspring into slavery).  Others were made into house slaves who worked in the master's house and were  allotted more privileges than the field slaves.  These house slaves learned how to more easily assimilate into the larger society.  As young playmates to the master's White children, many of these slaves learned to read, despite it being illegal.  Just by the nature of the system, house slaves possessed an educational and White cultural advantage over the field slaves. 


In Willie Lynch's letter on, "How to Make a Slave", he speaks of a divide and conquer strategy.  He talks of pitting the dark skinned slave against the light skinned slave.  This brain washing of the Blacks is supposed to last 300 years, whether the legality of slavery is present or not.  Slavery ended, yet the color caste system in the Black community persisted.  Even the educated Blacks, fighting for equality, could not break the stranglehold that identifying with the larger society had placed them in.  Mulatto W.E.B. DuBois  referred to Marcus Garvey as a gorilla.  Later in his life DuBois did come to his senses and he did emigrate to Africa, where he died.  Marcus Garvey, who had aspired for all American Blacks to go to Africa, never set foot on African soil.    

This color chasm has continued to the present day.  In the 1950s and 1960s Blacks had social clubs whose memberships were restricted to light skinned Blacks only.  The Links and Jack and Jill are 2 that come to mind.  The requirement of light skin plus straight hair is wreaking havoc on the self esteem of many beautiful Black sisters.  This is nonsense and the Black People will rue the day that they allowed such superficial drivel to put a wedge between such a great people.

A Tale of Two Brothers


            Michael Eric Dyson is an American academic, the author of 18 books and a radio host.  He has a Ph.D. from Princeton University and is currently a Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University.  He is considered one of the foremost Black intellectuals in the United States.  Everett Dyson is a Black man serving a life sentence in the American prison system.  He has been a U.S. Marine, a drug dealer and was convicted of murder.  Everett Dyson is the brother of Michael Eric Dyson.


These brothers grew up in the same environment, actually in the same household.  They remain very close to the present day.  What were the factors that caused such different paths for these brothers?  Dr. Michael Eric Dyson believes that the color of the brothers' skin was one such determining factor.  Michael Dyson is a light skinned Black man, Everett Dyson is a dark skinned Black man.  Dr. Dyson maintains that darker skinned Blacks are seen as more menacing to society.  He says that darker skinned Blacks do not receive the same opportunities that are given to light skinned Blacks.  He made a point to emphasize  that he was referring to opportunities within the Black community.

Stockholm Syndrome

            Stockholm syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors.  The term originated from a 1973 bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden.  On a massive scale, the Stockholm syndrome could accurately describe the relationship between America and her Black community.  There are 4 factors which make up the Stockholm syndrome.

1. A perceived threat to the oppressed's physical / psychological survival.

In the days of slavery, Blacks' survival was totally dependent on the whim of the slave master.  Blacks had no rights and no power.  Today, the Black community in America is totally dependent on the larger society for its survival.  There has never been, nor is there now, Black capitalism sufficient to support the Black community.

2. The oppressed are given small kindnesses.

Blacks were given their "freedom" from slavery.  Also the 13th and 14th Amendments were added to the U.S. Constitution to give rights to Blacks.  In the 1960s various Civil Rights bills were passed.  in 2008 Blacks were given one of their own as President of the United States.

3. Isolation from perspectives other than those of the oppressor.

Slaves were purposefully kept away from other slaves with similar language and cultural ties.  Today, White Supremacist ideology is a global endeavor.  Americans in general and Black Americans in particular, are fed massive amounts of propaganda to foster this ideology.  On an aside, the internet may prove to be the tool which will bring truth to the oppressed.

4. The oppressed have a perceived inability to escape.

Abraham Lincoln and his successor Andrew Johnson both had the same solution in mind of what to do with the newly freed Blacks.  They wanted to ship them back to Africa.  That plan was scrapped when they realized that if they used every ship in the U.S. Navy, the number of Blacks was so great, the job would never end.  Today, the Blacks who are progressive enough to wish to return to Africa understand that Africa is as infected by white supremacy as is America.  There is no escape.

            While Blacks stoke White egos by giving value for merely resembling Whites, the Whites laugh at them and joke about "crabs in a barrel".  Divide and conquer is the most basic of battle strategies.  While Blacks are trying to figure this out, Whites are using up the Earth at such a rate that, when white supremacy is finally wiped out, there will be nothing left.

Random Thoughts

            I was thinking about how American society is so adamant that Black men apologize.

 Isaiah Washington was forced to apologize for calling a fellow Grey's Anatomy cast member a faggot.(The cast member subsequently came out of the closet.)  Ironically Isaiah had played  a gay man in Spike Lee's Get On The Bus.  Washington played the role with thoughtfulness and sensitivity.  After he was forced to apologize ,Mr. Washington was fired from the show.

Tiger Woods was forced to apologize for actions that concerned no one other than he and his wife.  He apologized for not living up to his values.  Tiger, your values are your behavior, what you did not live up to were your aspirations.

Ozzie Guillen was forced to apologize for making a flippant remark about Fidel Castro.  As the remark was flippant he had no problem apologizing. Major League Baseball suspended him for 5 games.


Just Asking..... Did Michael Jackson hate dark skin so much that he used White sperm donors in the conception of his children?


  A Black Perspective  

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