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Time and time again, casual in-person or online conversations about skin tone have proven to be counterproductive, when the discourse becomes either deeply personal, accusatory, or insulting. With a subject with such deep historical and psychological roots, it’s probably best not to broach any serious discussion about it without the aid of a moderator–preferably someone with a great deal of professional experience. Acclaimed novelist, memoirist, and academic Marita Golden has spent many years examining the experiences of women of color and the effect the color complex has had on them. The author of 2004’s Don’t Play in the Sun: One Woman’s Journey Through the Color Complex, Golden has spoken in public forums and conducted many workshops on the issue.

Her latest workshop has just been announced. Sisters Under the Skin: Healing the Wounds of the Color Complex will take place on October 26 and 27 at Washington, DC’s Thurgood Marshall Center. Dr. Pamela Brewer, a DC-based psychotherapist with 28 years experience, will also be on hand. The workshop aims to open healthy and healing discourse about the color complex in America, providing a safe and instructive environment where participants will learn how to combat the color complex. For more information, visit the event announcement page.

Given the amount of discomfort and pain we’ve seen right here at Clutch in discussions of colorism, Golden’s course is a much-needed resource.

Would you attend or have you ever attended a workshop on healing colorism?

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  • lalala

    I wouldn’t attend because I don’t feel the need to defend myself for being born light skinned. Nothing I could say would make a dark skinned women feel better about the situation, not to mention most would not even want to hear my side of the story. I have just come to accept the fact that most dark skinned women would not relate to me as another “sista” and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.

  • lalala

    I wouldn’t attend because I don’t feel the need to defend myself for being born light skinned. Nothing I could say would make a dark skinned women feel better about the situation, not to mention most would not even want to hear my side of the story. I have just come to accept the fact that most dark skinned women would not relate to me as another “sista” and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. Healing just has to come from within.

  • lalala

    I wouldn’t attend because I don’t feel the need to defend myself for being born light skinned. Nothing I could say would make a dark skinned women feel better about the situation, not to mention most would not even want to hear my side of the story. I have just come to accept the fact that most dark skinned women would not relate to me as another “sista” and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. Healing just has to come from within and from the looks of things it would be a while before that happens.

    • CeeCee

      Based on what you said it seems as though you need to go to the workshop. How do you know how “most dark skinned women” would feel? Do you have a psychic ability that allows you to read the minds of all dark skinned women on the planet or something? lol I mean…..come on, I hope you were joking; you cannot be “THAT dumb”. lol

    • lalala

      @CeeCee

      Unlike you, i’m not going to insult you. All I will say is that I have repeatedly been told by dark skinned women that they do not consider me a “sista”. This is based on my experience with dark skinned women. You or no one else can tell me how to feel or rewrite MY LIFE experiences.

      When dark skinned women leave broad generalizations about how light-skinned women will act, no one criticizes them, in fact everyone jumps on the band wagon and agrees. Prime example at what “Yb” said. I see you didn’t take issue with that comment even though it was filled with generalizations, but I shouldn’t generalize, why? Instead of trying to understand where I am coming from you criticize me…Why in the hell would I show up…to listen only to the sob stories of people who wouldn’t return the same listening ear. I’m just not going to do that.

    • lalala

      And by looking at the fact that my comments were not “favorable” by looking at the negative 2, just proves my point. Why would I go and not be “allowed” to share my perspectives based on my opinion.

    • XiXi Top

      LoL c’mon sis, your previous reply is so basic. It reads dangerously identical to white people with white privilege talkin about “I/My ancestors didn’t own any slaves, I have black friends, I can’t help it I was born white…I’m a good (white) person!” All of that may be true but that white person still has racial (e.g. white) privilege as you have color privilege.
      Like, you missin the point entirely by making it about you lol. Colorism is bigger than you, me, & our aunties! That said, I think w/ events like this…it’s wisest to shut up & *listen* to our dark skin sisters & brothers stories b/c they are the ones oppressed the most by colorism. We can learn how to be better allies when we listen instead of being defensive.
      All that said, I’m too cheap/broke to pay $285 for a book I can get from library lol.

    • i think the issue here is that you not only drew a line in the sand between you and dark skinned sistas, its that you did it in such a broad scope.

  • Barbara

    I would definitely go. It was just this year that I spoke with my youngest, darker, sister and told her that she was the prettier one of us five sisters. Three of us are light skinned (myself included) and two are darker hue.

    My family, like many Black families, considered the very lightest skined sister as the prettier. She was NOT. I don’t try to change that thinking in my family, but I and my younger sister discussed this color problem that Black people have; and I could tell that she was pleased to know I thought of her as the prettier one. I wasn’t telling her this just to make her feel good; IMO she atually IS the prettier one.

    My oldest, lightest, sister always thought of herself as being beautiful beccause everyone told her so. I never told her amy different, although I don’t agree.

    I never had to experience the “you’re to dark,” so I think we lighter skinned sisters need to be more sensitive to the issue.

    I can’t imagine anyone not being able to see how beautiful Anika Noni Rose, India.Arie, and Brandy are.

  • Barbara

    Excuse all my typos. It’s hard trying to type over the print and enter comments.