I've never had an issue with the color of my skin. I've never wanted to be lighter like my Dad or darker like my Mom. I loved my brown skin because it was the perfect mix of my parents. I was the median between the two. I had parents who instilled in me a love for my skin and Black people in general. My childhood was filled with positive affirmations about the brown skin I was in. I had a room full of Black Barbie dolls and Black Cabbage Patch dolls. Even before I really knew what it meant, I loved being Black. I liked being a little Brown girl with long Black hair. I was a carefree child. I thank my parents for that. This brown skin I'm in fits me perfectly. I was meant to be this shade. I love it.
So much has changed since I was that carefree little Black girl. I'm no longer a naive child. I've loved and lost. Friends have come and gone. I've lost some of my favorite people to random acts of violence. Babies have been born. I've grown up. But, the one thing that hasn't changed is this: I still love my brown skin. I still love my Black people. That won't ever change. With so many attacks on Blackness daily via the media, it is easy to only see the negative in people who look like me. But, I refuse to. We are not a monolith. My nine nieces and nephews and 3 Godchildren are all varying shades of brown skin. I compliment them all because children need to be cherished. They all need to know that all shades of Blackness are beautiful. We are a gorgeous group of people. I want them to embrace that the same way I have. My Black is beautiful. Always.