Show Notes:

Guest Bio:
Ekemini Uwan is a public theologian who has dedicated her life to combating racism and bringing awareness to the issues of colorism, white supremacy, and microaggressions. She is a host of Truth’s Table, a popular podcast for black women, and holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary.

“Over 70% of African women bleach their skin with disastrous health consequences.”

Episode Links:

Notes and Quotes: 

  • “…being a minority, a black girl, a dark skinned black girl in California is definitely going to shape you.”
  • “[Microaggressions] are little racial digs (i.e.‘You’re pretty for a dark girl’) and you leave that person’s presence with internal bleeding.” 
  • “You’d be really close to somebody that you consider to be your friend, maybe even your best friend in school, but that best friend could never come to your house…because our area was deemed not safe according to them, but it was safe.”
  • “Colorism is where people with lighter skin are given preferential treatment over those with darker skin.”
  • “It reminds me of the doll experiment that Dr. Kenneth Clark did (Brown v. Board of Education) where they had a white doll baby and a black one, and they asked black children which one was more beautiful? They would pick the white one. Which one is smarter? They would pick the white one. Which one is good? They would pick the white one. Which one is bad? They would pick the black one. And then which one is more like you? And then they would pick the black one.”
  • “This is not just anecdotal things…light skinned people actually make $6000 more than dark skinned people. They actually have higher rates of marriage because of that.”
  • “You would connect colorism with white supremacy, even though it’s not white people doing the discrimination.”
  • “I wasn’t immune to white supremacy. After a while, you just begin to believe it. Maybe I’m not attractive. Maybe I am ugly. Believing those things, there was a lot of self hate for me…hating my dark skin to the point where I started bleaching my skin.”
  • “Over 70% of African women bleach their skin with disastrous health consequences.”
  • “White Jesus is not going to help me with my self-loathing.”
  • “Nobody really talks about the trauma of following God. It’s very traumatic actually, because when God takes you into the pit and leaves you there for a minute, like he is there with you, but you can’t hear him, you can’t see him, and you can’t feel him. That’s traumatic.”
  • “The wall of whiteness well was literally a wall of a lot of white people. It was a predominantly white institution, and then Asian, and then also the assignments on who we were, our bibliographies, who we read. All white men. Down to the lessons and the ideologies that would be taught in class, and white-washing African theologians.” 
  • “No, we were not better off enslaved. No, there were not benevolent slave masters.”
  • “And so I was able to endure because I knew the Lord. I knew, “He called me here.” 
  • “We don’t ever have a space, particularly as black woman, that’s just for us. Oftentimes the things that we create are co-opted. We’re erased, we’re silenced. Worst, rape culture has ravaged us in so many profound, horrific ways.”
  • “You’re not safe in your own home. That’s unsettling.”
  • “We don’t weep over black women the way that we ought to.”