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Showing posts from February, 2011

Vybz Kartel and the Deeper Impact of Skin Bleaching

Now I am sure that all of you who follow dancehall music have been paying attention to the recent controversy surrounding dancehall artist Vybz Kartel and the images of what appear to be lighter skin that have circulated in the media. There is so much that can be said about these images but what I want to focus on is the larger message that is being said by Mr. Kartel's actions.

Now let's be clear. The idea of bleaching one's skin is not new to the black community. Since slaves came to the new world there was a systematic way that blacks were brainwashed to believe that white skin is better. Whether it was the story of Ham that were told to blacks to justify the institution of slavery in a religious context, to the clear favoritism that was shown to lighter skinned slaves, often referred to as house slaves, much of that impact filtered down through generations of black existence in this world. It's of utmost importance to remember that the reason slaves had different sk…