The Bleaching, Chameleon Crowd- Reuben Abati(READ)
Read his article below:
I wrote a piece recently, a tribute to the late veteran actress Bukky Ajayi and the multi-instrumentalist OJB Jezreel, in which I raised a number of issues, including how in Nollywood today, there is an obsession with the whitening of skin, an anti-Negritude yellowing, what I referred to as “the bleaching, chameleon crowd of Nollywood beauties.”
The various reactions to the piece conveniently ignored this subject; two young ladies who felt that I was probing an unpopular theme drew my attention to this. I was reminded that being light-skinned is now the in-thing, indeed the socially acceptable norm, because there is now a universalization of the concept of beauty and self-esteem.
The more light-skinned you are, the more acceptable you are in various circumstances, that is. I thought if this was true, then it is a tragedy indeed for the black world. For, once upon a time in the history of the black race, being black was a thing of joy and an instrument of protest. When Jesse Evans gave the black salute at the 1939 Olympics, after winning four gold medals, he was making a racially loaded statement about black pride and achievement. Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, Muhammad Ali are key historical figures in the struggle for the black identity in the United States not to talk of various moments and efforts culminating in the Obama phenomenon eight years ago.