When I first read this article yesterday, I came to the conclusion that it was all in good fun and why take everything so seriously… Then I watched Oprah’s Oprah Presents Master Class on OWN last night and she spoke about her little six year old self being made to sleep on the porch because she was the unfavored dark skinned child of the house. I wanted to cry. Oprah did. I felt guilty that I have light skin. I wanted to inflict harm on the light-skinned woman who inflicted this harm on my Oprah. (I’m back on the Oprah kool-aid, btw. Loving the Oprah Winfrey Network. LOVING. IT.) Anywho, after I grounded myself in the reality that Ms. Winfrey’s just fine now, I thought about this article, this game, and I changed my mind back to “I don’t like it.” I think. I’m not sure. It’s still a major issue. Maybe making fun of it is the way to take the charge out of it. Maybe not.
by Adrienne Samuels Gibbs, Senior Editor
SOMEWHERE IN THE GULF OF MEXICO ON MONDAY AFTERNOON-
Yes, you read that headline right: Light skin vs. dark skin dodge ball. Of course it helps that the spirits were flowing for hours before the color-charged dodgeball tourney commenced on the top deck of the cruise ship.
Beneath the clear blue skies and in between tremendous gusts of wind, Kid N’ Play were the live sports commentators, selected because they’re fun and also because they represent both sides of the skin spectrum. Both took turns at the mic to recruit, commentate and poke fun at those who dared take to the greens during the second day of the Tom Joyner Morning Show’s Fantastic Voyage.
Many onlookers went out of curiosity. Some went as a form of anger management
therapy. In the end though, it was good colorful fun. Team Light Skin recruited
a few White people and a Portuguese lady. Team Dark Skin wound up with lots of
brown skins and one light skin who said she wanted to be affiliated with her
Kid, who rooted for team light skin but told EBONY he still loves a dark sista,
took to the mic between games and started singing odes to Pebbles and
Christopher Williams – classic singers who some felt best represented Team
Light. Play, on the other hand, yelled “Nino Brown wins!” when Team Dark threw a
final ball that clinched the tourney.
Off on the sidelines, the spectators got rowdy. Each side began chanting. Then
the guys started taking off their shirts. As for the women? They sat down to
watch the light and dark men go at it with each other. Things got rough as one
ball hit a light guy, richocheted, flew over the edge of the ship and floated
away. Then a dark guy hurt his ankle. Comedian Damon Williams entered the fray,
ready to add some points to Team Dark’s score.
To be sure, many onlookers shook their heads, not sure what to make of such a
tourney. The Black community has a long history with light-dark issues, most of
which stem from post slavery trauma. The commentators didn’t get into all that,
instead leading the group to poke fun at what is often a deadly serious topic.
Who won? Who knows. It all ended with fun and jokes and hugs.