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A St. Louis nightclub held a Black History Month celebration that its promoters claim was meant to promote unity among black men and women of all shades, but that featured a theme many found downright ridiculous and offensive. The “Battle of The Complexions,” was held on Friday night and promised a runway contest that pitted “lightskinned vs. caramel (brown) skin vs. darkskinned.”

While the NAACP isn’t exactly needed to weigh in on how damaging and ridiculous this was, Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis chapter, stated:

“Folks who buy into it, support it, feed into it, they’re just assuring that using race — using the skin complexion of women, devaluating women and things of this nature — is going to continue to happen, because as long as people spend money to take advantage of it, somebody’s going to use it as a promotional tool.”

The organizers of the event, Mack TV and Nelly Da’Celeb, posted a pre-event Facebook apology for the way the flier was phrased but stood by the concept of the evening:

MACK TV WOULD LIKE TO CLEAR UP THE MISUNDERSTANDING OF OUR CONCEPT FOR THIS PARTY…ITS NOT TO DEGRADE WOMEN OR DIVIDE SKIN COLORS. ITS SIMPLY TO SEE WHICH COMPLEXION OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN RACE REPRESENTS THE MOST (lightskinned, caramel-brown, or darkskinned) AS A WHOLE, MALE & FEMALE! I CAN SEE THE MISUNDERSTANDING WITH OUR PROMO…..WE COULD HAVE USED A BETTER CHOICE OF WORDS….WE DID NOT MEAN TO OFFEND THE OFFENDED

ITS BLACK HISTORY MONTH , SO WE MADE A PARTY THEME DEDICATED TO OUR AFRICAN AMERICAN CROWD. THE YOUNGER GENERATION IS LOVING THIS PARTY BECAUSE HERE’S THE FIRST TIME EVER YOU CAN COME OUT & BE PROUD THAT YOU ARE BLACK!! REGARDLESS OF YOUR SKIN TONE SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION & MISLEADING INFO.

ITS BLACK HISTORY MONTH , SO LETS BE PROUD OF THE SKIN WE’RE IN!! REPRESENT YOUR COMPLEXION!

It seems that at least every year a few fliers for inappropriate MLK Day and Black History Month events circulate on the internet, but a “skin complexion beauty pageant” with organizers who don’t even understand the problem with it pretty much takes the cake. I find it especially dense of the promoters to half-apologize with the excuse that they “could have used a better choice of words,” but then go on to explain how crucial it is for black pride that we figure out which shade of black people “represents” us the best – lightskinned, caramel-brown, or darkskinned – because these distinctions are significant and this is an important community issue. I just do not understand.

Read more at MSNBC.

What do you think?

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