Skin Wars: The Complexity of Complexion

Skin Wars

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Light skin versus dark skin, the eternal debate between longstanding next of kin.
It’s a pity, such an eternal shame, brothers and sisters in plight divided by a desire to fit into a colored picture frame. How incredulously lame, identity crises brought to birth by an incessant love affair with fleeting fame. Black is no longer our common name. That’s just the nature of today’s game.

Honestly, I’m ashamed by this ridiculous emphasis on pigment,
that such a natural thing should even determine the quality of our treatment.
I know of a black woman named Jasmine, who fancies herself better than Lilly,
simply because the latter has a greater concentration of melanin, under her beautiful skin. Yes really, it’s gotten that silly!

And all the rappers concur, shamelessly obnoxious, ever hypothesizing in music videos that their hot yellow bones make the dark sisters jealous. Negro please! A darker shade is not a disease! If a black man cannot see that, then he is blinded by shades he is unaware he currently wears. He is emancipated on paper but enslaved in practice. And even Lincoln could never have freed him!

And all who instigate battles of the skin, will find that they can never win;
because regardless of complexion, through the myopic lenses of prejudiced eyes we are viewed as the same underestimated concoction. Therefore, as per MLK Jr. will we let the color of our skin define us, or will we decide the content of our character should be the distinguishing factor?

Remember, united we stand, divided we fall.
So that said, God help us all.

P.S. The black race in America must free itself from the superficial shackles of inadequacy born of despicable years of slavery. There is a popular saying that goes, “Black is beautiful.” Every black child should come to know this, believe this, and embody this, regardless of complexion.

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The Simplicity in Life

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“A picture is worth a thousand words,” they say.

This is a Pulitzer prize-winning picture by American photojournalist Kevin Carter depicting a moment that characterized the famine in Sudan. The child is painstakingly making her way to a food camp while the vulture patiently waits for the child to die so that it can eat her. Shortly after the picture appeared in the New York Times, Kevin Carter committed suicide due to depression.

My intent is neither to create shock nor to invoke the inevitable sense of remorse or sympathy that any compassionate human being should feel. This child’s condition is not your fault, nor is it mine. I simply want to drive home a point. Sometimes in life, we feel overwhelmed:  the work, the school, the bills, the bad relationships ad infinitum. When all the problems seem to converge on us, when it seems like everything that can go bad does go bad, when we find ourselves falling into an abyss of despair – it is in moments like these that we need to take a step back and realize that in spite of everything, we are blessed. We are blessed with access to food, water and shelter, three basic and natural resources found on this earth to which every man, woman and child is entitled. We need to dwell on the positives in our lives to overcome struggles and always thank The Lord for the things we take for granted. It is incumbent on us to pray for children like this girl whose only crime against humanity was being born into such conditions of abject poverty. It is indeed incumbent on us all to pray that she may get the opportunity to worry, like other girls, about a broken heart; that she gets the chance to start a family of her own, that she ultimately finds happiness, whether in this life or the next. It is the least we can do – in fact, it just may be the most.

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About the Author:

Dr. Edmond Fomunung is a young medical doctor, but is also a man of many cares. He has a zeal for empathy and solidarity, and is always looking to make a difference in the lives of others beyond their physical well being, but in all aspects of their lives.  A graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Fomunung is currently doing his residency at the Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Connect with him here: Edmond Fomunung

 

Motive versus Reward

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“If cash rules everything around you, then it just might rule everything about you.” -kR

“The money is the motive,” they say. Well I digress. For me, the money is not the motive but the reward.

When money is the motive for one’s work, then one might easily lack motivation when it comes in short supply. This is because in such a scenario the individual perceives money to be the desired outcome or end result. Therefore, the lack or insufficiency thereof at the end of one’s labors is viewed through the lens of disappointment and is likely to be measured as failure, regardless of the quality of work or intangible lessons the journey may yet have provided.

However, when money is the reward for one’s work, then one is more likely to be grateful for whatever gains it might provide. In this case, at the fulfillment of one’s labor of passion a true sense of gratification can be found. As such, the individual perceives his or her work through the lens of success, and judges it to be a masterpiece; and regards any added financial gain as a bonus, or the icing on the cake.

Besides, if one does his or her work well enough for long enough, then all things being equal, in all likelihood, invariably the money will come.

P.S. Make money, don’t let money make you!

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A Stranger’s Shoes

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