Sister dark, Sister light panelists offer insight

The Florida A&M Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women held a forum called Sister dark, Sister light. The discussion addressed issues concerning the interaction of black women.

The night started with the viewing of an episode from the “Tyra Banks Show” where the issue of “good hair” was the conversation starter.

Tyra, wearing her hair in cornrows, said she wanted to address the issue for a long time. She referred to the movie comedian Chris Rock spent two years of his life making called “Good Hair.”

Rock’s inspiration for the movie started when his four-year-old daughter asked him,”Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?”

In the beginning of the show, Tyra has a guest, a young African-American woman named Taheedah, who has been wearing relaxers and weaves for about 12 years. Taheedah tells Tyra that she wants to go natural, but is afraid that she is not going to look as pretty as she normally would if she had the weave or extensions.

During the interview, Taheedah shares with Tyra and the audience that she has allowed her bills to go unpaid in order to afford getting her hair done.

Krystal Lewis, a fourth- year psychology student and audience participant said she had the same sentiments as Taheedah.

“Basically I’ve been getting track weave since I was in the 10th grade in high school. My image of beauty was the long hair girl with light eyes like Barbie,” Lewis said. Panelists shared their own story. Magalie Yacinthe, a MBA student from Miami, described an internship experience where she believed she didn’t receive equal treatment.

Yacinthe and another African-American intern, who had lighter skin, were the only two blacks at her job. She said she thought her darker skin tone made an obvious difference in the lack of attention she received from her immediate supervisor. “One of my biggest regrets is not saying anything to my immediate supervisor,” she said.

Chantel Cary, a senior psychology student and panelist, gave her viewpoint as an African-American woman with lighter skin.

“In a general setting with a lot of white people, they feel a little more comfortable with speaking with lighter-skin black people,” Cary said.

The stereotype that video girls who are lighter are more beautiful was raised.
Panelist Magalie Yacinthe said her favorite music video was “Frontin” by music artist Pharell.

“It was good to see the darker girl get the famous guy,” said Yacinthe.