I hear talk these days that we now live in a post-racial society; after all, we do have a Black president. Doesn’t that prove that racism is a thing of the past? I wish it did. Sigh. In my novel, the main character speaks of her struggle to accept the dark color of her skin. She feels inferior because she is not blond and light-skinned. I personally struggled with this issue when I was a child, so can speak from experience. But I was a child many, many years ago, and it surprised me–though it really shouldn’t have–to find that skin color is still an issue among our youth.
A few years ago, a good friend confided in me that her teenaged son was being bullied by classmates because of his dark skin (he is Mexican-American). Then recently I read about this year’s Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, who said she once wished her skin was lighter because she got teased so much by other children. She overcame her insecurities when she began to see Black actresses and models in movies and magazines. So, I ask myself, when will we cease to judge others (and sometimes even ourselves) by the color of their skin?