This afternoon on the TTC I happened to be reading the news screen. At one point it featured the profile of a suspect Toronto police are seeking for a shooting. Among his characteristics was his skin colour, which isn’t unusual in and of itself (especially if the suspect isn’t White).
What struck me was the description: he was described as “light-Black”.
As opposed to dark black? Or “just” black? Or what?
Who made up this term? And what makes someone light-Black instead of, say, brown?
Take me, for instance. I’m biracial. I have a black parent and a white parent. Am I light-Black, brown, or dark-White?
And what would decide? My features? My nose? My hair? My lips? My accent? My attitude? Where I was born? What I eat? What music I listen to…?
On a lighter note, my partner’s response made me chuckle. “Light-Black!” she said. “Isn’t that grey?”
Copyright 2011 Annemarie Shrouder
author, speaker & facilitator on issues of diversity & inclusion