Archive for July 5th, 2012

Week 3 of Black History 4 Young People

This week at Black History 4 Young People

The images you see here are merely illustrations to depict the vast differences of skin color available in our race. Colorism is Dr. Kwaku’s topic this Saturday. Why?  Try this:  Ask your own teens how they feel about color in general or their own color in particular. Just have a casual conversation, especially with the boys about what skin color and hair types (or even races) they prefer. Then, bring them to class on Saturday if you are saddened to learn this colorism thing is not over.


7 July Colorism: Dark Skin versus Light Skin. Do we discriminate within the race? Within our own families?

We will investigate how slavery was used to divide people of Afrikan descent on the basis of a dark skin or light skin complexion, and how it is being practiced today. We will also look at the use of negative images about skin color and hair texture.

NOTE ABOUT THE IMAGES ABOVE: These are an assortment of images which depict the variety of colors (and there are many more, including albinos) that Black people come in. The young girl with the two plaits is Sudanese. (Yes, she is.) Robert Ri’chard is a family friend who went to school with our sons, now a heartthrob on TV. Beyonce has been at the center of the color controversy when her sponsor lightened her skin and hair for an ad campaign. The little girl on the left is beautiful, as is the brown woman in the middle and all these images, but will our kids ever see that? And the girl on the right appears to have vitiligo and, like Michael Jackson, has a choice to make. Let’s talk about it. Young people develop preferences and assessments early on from sources you may not be aware of. What have yours learned? Ask them. If you are surprised at their answers, bring them to class Saturday.


Location: Leimert Park, CA:  Kaos Network, 3333 W. 43rd Place, Los Angeles, CA 90008 (Largest cross streets: Crenshaw and Vernon.  Class is two blocks east of Crenshaw on 43rd at Leimert Blvd.)  TIME:  10:00am – Noon  (Ages 12-18 – Give or take)  Price: $15 per class.  Need more info? (213) 394-5075.

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Week Two Winner! Kelley Johnson

Kelly Johnson, 14, is the Week 2 winner of the Back History 4 Young People Quiz. She is very sharp but we haven’t seen her in years, not since her Mom used to bring her to the adult class Dr. Kwaku teaches in the Fall and Spring. She was a precocious 4 years old then, and her Mom would have her and her older brothers complete their homework while she was in class. Being the registrar I sat outside the class with them. (Back in those days at Ben’s we could. He had a roomy sofa outside class.) Kelly would entertain me for a solid two hours with stories and songs and jokes. Since I always had my camera and recorder, she did some of this on tape. (I only hope to find those before class is over!) –by Isidra Person-Lynn, Registrar BH4YP

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