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I felt cheated that, all of this time, I had been left in the dark on this thing that apparently I was a part of and did not realize.

My dark-skinned friends make references such as “she’s only pretty because she’s light-skinned” or even favor their children with lighter skin.

I started to pay attention to other people’s thought processes and actions in relation to skin complexion.

I started to notice that people to whom I was really close had those same feelings.

At the time, I did not understand that this could have an effect on me someday.

Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s 1947 study found that black children preferred white dolls over black dolls.

During these times, slave owners created the “paper bag” theory, which separated the black race further.I grew up in a low-income housing project on the South Side of Chicago.I faced many challenges as a young girl in this homogenous and sometimes destructive community.But 150 years post-slavery, young black women continue to carry the weight of feeling unloved and not beautiful simply because of the variance in their brown skin.‘You’re cute to be dark’ I remember the first time I heard someone say this to me. A light-skinned young man told me and one of my close friends who also has brown skin that we were “lucky” because we were “cute to be dark.” My mouth dropped open when I heard those words.

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