As a child, comments about the darkness of my skin tone were rampant. I tried trying to come to terms with being categorized as “darkskin.” I watched as my “brownskin” and “lightskin” counterparts were respected and more engaged with. I looked at myself in the mirror, embarrassed at my type of "skin." In my own way to emphasize my voice, I started writing for a non-profit called “Stick to Change." I decided to leave and start my own magazine, the Africana Literary Journal.
My solution offers a culmination of not just my own, but multiple perspectives of inner and outer turmoil witnessed by my community. Although there have been efforts such as TikToks, Twitter tweets, and other forms of social media, most are met with backlash, claiming it "doesn't exist" and "you're reaching." With the Africana Literary Journal, the reader is able to absorb information without the worry of negativity and disregard.
As I learn more about my community past my personal experiences, I wish to know how deeply rooted colorism is in our society, and how racism is ingrained in minds unintentionally. Additionally, learning how to combat not only racism, but internalized issues such as colorism (the tone of someone’s skin) or texturism (how curly someone’s hair is). Being able to see the implications of some of these problems in our society can not only assist in growth, but allow others to see what we go through as well and bringing change within their own community.
Funded by Orlando, FL (July 2023)