Mother singles out darker skinned daughter from her siblings

Posted by James, 05 Nov 12

Her mother separated her from the rest of her siblings because of her darker skin. She warned her other daughters against eating from the same spoon she used or drinking from the same cup she used. Her mother made her eat in the kitchen while her lighter-skinned siblings ate in the dining room. "I couldn't go in the refrigerator. It was like I was poison," says Sonsyrea Tate Montgomery’s aunt.

She went to the extent of adding Breath-o-Pine or bleach to her bathwater, in the hopes that it was gonna "cleanse her enough for her mother’s approval."

The color complex! This is something that makes other people feel like monsters when in the midst of lighter skinned individuals. I have two black friends who are married to white men. One of them has kids who look more white than mixed race and usually says the other friend's kids "backfired" just because their skin complexion is much darker. These are not things she says in her face but, I can only imagine the hatred it would stir if she ever found out her friend thinks her sons "backfired". On the other hand, the friend with darker mixed race kids always makes comments like "your kids are sooo white". For some reason, she is bothered by the fact that she married white but her mixed kids look more like her than her husband. She isn’t the only one.

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Marita Golden, the author of "Don’t Play in the Sun: One Woman’s Journey Through the Color Complex" spoke to some African American women about color over dinner and one of them said how shocked she was when she found out the day after her grandson was born, her daughter had been, as she said "praying that he’d come out light, like his father, not dark like me." Marita also recalls her mother calling her indoors when she was playing in the sun one summer warning: "Come on inside out of that sun — you’re already gonna have to get a light-skinned husband for the sake of your children."Basically, it seems some people look for lighter spouses in order to get lighter children, believing their lives will be better if they have a lighter shade. Its like they are working so hard for their kids not to have darker complexion or kinkier hair.

I look at all the fuss over complexion and it’s sometimes disheartening. How can a mother single out her own child for being darker. Imagine the kind of emotional impact this experience had on her while growing up. Well, to address this, Marita hosted a workshop dubbed "Sisters Under the Skin: Healing the Wounds of the Color Complex" and here, women read out letters they wrote to their relatives who always made them feel lesser because they were darker or their hair wasn’t straight enough, even those who taught them to love their skin.

The thing is: we all have had experiences that were influenced by the color of our skin. Some of us have egos the size of the world because society has made us think we are better because we are lighter. Some of us take that light skin to be a nuisance because we always have had to defend ourselves for it. People feel lighter individuals have it easy and some cant help wondering whether we rightfully earned those great jobs or we landed them because we are the "right" color. Others have suffered massive emotional wounds for being darker.

Well here is Marita’s advice on dealing with this: "If we don’t talk about it, it festers. If you keep a lie, it festers. Once you let it out, it can’t hurt you. It lessens the burden." So feel free to share how your color has influenced or affected who you are today… positively or negatively.

8 responses to "Mother singles out darker skinned daughter from her siblings"

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  1.   Tallchick1 says:
    Posted: 27 May 13

    I have to say that this is disgusting. No one knows what their children are going to look like until they are born. A real woman loves their children when they are inside them and close to their heart. No matter what they look like. Sounds like these people should have a hysterectomy. We don't need people with attitudes like this multiplying.

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  2.   Nordicia says:
    Posted: 21 Dec 12

    This is outrageously ridiculous

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  3. Posted: 03 Dec 12

    This is so sad. I was just having this conversation with my mother a few weeks ago. My mom is full black and so are my younger sister and I. Before my mom and dad married, my mother was with a full Puerto Rican man. My older sister is mixed and much lighter than us. My mom has NEVER treated us any different than her. Never. Other people in our extended family do though. I envied my sister growing up just because everyone always fawned over her and how pretty she was and I could never understand what I was lacking. Growing up, she always had a slew of guys who liked her and was never without a boyfriend. I was of course the complete opposite lol. I'm pretty sure being fat had a lot to do with my lack of boyfriends too lol. Out of all the reasons I grew up hating myself, my skin color was never one of those reasons. I honestly don't have a problem with my brown skin. Never have and never will. What I do have a problem with is the way others with lighter skin are treated and how they're placed on a pedestal a lot of the time. I hope this girl's mom gets a wake up call real soon, she's damaging ALL of her children by doing this.

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  4.   ally2311 says:
    Posted: 17 Nov 12

    sounds like mother has some serious racist issues!...poor child.. my sister and i are of diff sister darker skin colour than i am.....we have a very indian grandmother who's parents are straight from India. my sister's dad's dad is light skin.( mixed race) . and my grandmother raised us while my mom, being a single mom, was busy working, providing for us.... and my grandmother treated my sis like crap, just cause she's black......growing up, and finally understanding hurts me to my core what my grannie did to sister grew up resenting me.... we are still trying to make it work, and i feel like i now have to spend my life making it up to her...which is hard on me, because she takes advantage of my kindness as payback....she'll never really get over it..she was a fragile one to begin with... * sad face*.... now i keep my distance, but still am trying to be a good step, hope one day i can go to a shrink with her and see if we can get pass it...

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  5.   Reese says:
    Posted: 14 Nov 12

    I can't believe this still goes on today.

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  6.   kutu7 says:
    Posted: 09 Nov 12

    when yiou interracially date or marry and have children you have to wait and see which gene is stronger, which determines what feature your child will have, even through the child is loved. and it does not matter to the parents.

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  7.   Ver0 says:
    Posted: 08 Nov 12

    I am white, I have blue eyes, am brunet and I have a daughter with a black caribbean man. And - my girl is so white. White-white-white, and blue eyes, silky curls. While several of my friends have children with black african guys, and their kids are pretty dark, and guess what - I envy them! I love my child and she is a very beautiful girl indeed and she's everything to me, but sometimes I wish she at least had hazel eyes, it would feel more "right"....

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  8.   queenui says:
    Posted: 06 Nov 12

    Honestly I do not understand how a person's skin color determines being good looking. I have seen good looking dark-skinned individuals with strong features, the same goes for light-skinned individuals. The past influences of slavery in America have greatly festered the minds of most who cannot seem to treat others (and themselves) as individuals. Personally as a black woman, I would not care if my future kids are darker or lighter than me. Cuteness comes in all skin hues. Somehow I grew up thinking I was darker than I really am and cute as can be. Now I have to acknowledge I am actually two shades lighter and I am still cute. The mother described in this article should have her rights as a mother taken from her. It appears that not everyone should be a parent. She is greatly a poor excuse of a woman to be called "mom". Great shame on her.

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