The Color Spectrum

I read a short story by Toni Morrison called, “Sweetness” and then watched a video about eight black women who discuss the politics of skin tone and it was very powerful. It actually brought me back to moments in my childhood when my mother would tell me certain things or teach me something. For example, one of the quotes that were powerful to me was, “I wish they would stop calling it welfare and go back to the word they used when my mother was a girl. Then it was called “relief.” Sounds much better, like it’s just a short-term breather while you get yourself together” (4). Growing up my family didn’t always have financial issues; but, when we did, we had food stamps for some time and it is a shame that people look down at you for that. I connected with this quote because not only does it not matter what skin color you are, it matters if you are struggling and just need some help to put the pieces back together and I totally agree with it being called relief. “Sweetness” does tell a kind of American story because when she states, “All because of skin privileges. At first I couldn’t see past all that black to know who she was and just plain love her. But I do. I really do”(5), it shows what parents may actually feel toward their children. In America, it seems as though this color spectrum or skin color, makes or breaks who you are as an individual and I understand that Sweetness grew up with such discrimination and didn’t want that for her daughter; however, if even her daughter did experience some of it, mothers should always be there to encourage their child’s beauty and strengths no matter what anyone has to say. I believe that the Narrator, “Sweetness,” was coming from a loving place, to protect her daughter, which is maybe why the title and her “nickname” was called “Sweetness;” but, I didn’t like that she was embarrassed of her and at the end of the day, it taught her a lesson all along because her daughter, grew up to be very successful. Even though Sweetness and her daughter, Lula Ann, don’t have that mother, daughter relationship she wants, when Lula Ann becomes a mother, hopefully she can understand where her mother came from, in terms of protecting her. Sweetness even states, “Listen to me. You are about to find out what it takes, how the world is, how it works, and how it changes when you are a parent” (6). I am, personally, not a parent; but, I remember my mother always telling me that your mind set is different and maybe it makes you change or maybe it doesn’t; but, children always learn from their parents, by what they see and experience that is right or wrong, I just wish I can find out what happens to Lula Ann in the future. When I also watched the video about the eight women, they said some things that opened my eyes. For instance, people just see them for their skin tone, not for who they are and being called “light skin,” is like them being called different or excluding them for who they really are which is a black women. One of the women mentioned the color spectrum and in the short story, it mentioned being a light or dark skinned black women and many black women have to deal with that. Which opened up my eyes that, there will always be a color spectrum of different skin colors; however, it is like every race has their own kind of colored spectrum and get judged either way, which is upsetting. It kind of reminded me of Tyra Banks and how she embraces different looks and beautiful skin tones and I connect with her because when I am out in public and I see a dark skin women, I truly think to myself, “wow, she has such beautiful, shiny and glowing skin” and everyone should think the same way. I love seeing different people’s looks like hair color, style, skin color, eyes, etc. It is what makes everyone so unique and different and with just a different, more positive perspective of others, it would change this world drastically.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website at
Get started
%d bloggers like this: