The University of Maryland’s chapter of the NAACP held a GBM (General Body Meeting) Tuesday to discuss two topics that divide the African-American community: colorism and misogyny. The discussion was broken into two segments.
The first segment, about colorism in the black community, was introduced with the following question: “What is colorism?”
Some of the answers from attendees included:
- destruction within a race
- prejudice towards skin color(s)
- asserting that one skin tone is more superior than another
A documentary on colorism by junior journalism major Dymond Green was introduced.
Green founded Black Media Collaborations, an organization that uses radio shows, documentaries and other types of media in order to get young black students to discuss issues within the black community and the impact of these issues.
Green says that she decided to discuss this topic because it’s something which “we kind of put under the rug.”
“It really touched my heart to do a documentary on colorism being a dark skinned female in this society and in this day and age. I also wanted to create a documentary about a suppressed issue within the black community and I figured that colorism was kind of a taboo subject that people really don’t like to talk about.”
Participants on campus noticed there was a struggle within colorism but claimed to not have a specific preference of their own.
Green encourages every student to watch her documentary and draw conclusions based on the experiences of the individuals in the video. Here it is below:
In the remainder of the GBM, another audience discussion question was posed: “Where is colorism seen in society?”
Some of the most popular answers included:
- social media sites (through the use of memes and Instagram photos)
- the workforce and professional society
- magazines and the media
- African-American community
The second segment, led by Colin Byrd, was about misogyny in hip-hop. One of the biggest eye opening discussions was about the discontent with hip hop music in today’s society.
The audience was asked: “What do you dislike most about hip hop?”
Some of the general consensus answers were:
- a lot of hip hop music is both offensive & repetitive
- too much sex and hypersexualization of women
- Many hip hop songs are about four main topics: money, cars, females and clothing
- Hip hop was originally created to fight oppression but now it has changed into something completely different.
After the GBM, E-board members Moriah Ray and Ceaira Thomas discussed their thoughts on how the GBM impacted attendees.
Senior government & politics major Moriah Ray said that board members believed it would be more effective if the group combined colorism and misogyny into one GBM rather than two separate meetings.
She mentioned that her favorite part of the GBM was a segment called “Finish that Lyric” which included songs such as:
“It really made people realize what they are listening to. Someone mentioned consumer power and that we ultimately are buying this music and if we say that we are not going to buy it unless you start talking about social activism, they will listen.”
Ceaira Thomas, junior economics and Spanish major, said that colorism is something she felt very strongly about and believed it was important to share her thoughts with her peers.
“As an organization we can not say anything about racism while we have racism within our own community, that’s just hypocrisy. We really needed to bring light to the fact that people talk about light-skinned or dark-skinned girls and guys every day. We need to bring attention to the fact that this is white supremacy. I think that we were successful because we did bring attention to what we are saying.”