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Dark Skin, White Skin Featured

Saturday, 28 March 2015 00:00 Written by  Published in Clips Read 3331 times
A mixed-coloured family A mixed-coloured family

A mix of 'black' and 'white' can be intriguing, but what happens as time goes on? Which skin colour subdues the other?  Bashir Kabir asks

This is not one of those articles where I start pouring out sentiments over how the greedy British and the wicked French ventured into Africa, took it by force, slaughtered millions and exploited its resources. Or even how Argentina was alleged to have eliminated black presence (by force) as it struggled to 'whiten' its society. Or even the fact that the US, as an advanced country, is still experiencing racism issues in spite of claims of democracy, equality, human rights and what not. This is one of those wild guesses and softer racial topics that could easily be true. Fair skin seems to be encroaching into niches that were originally painted black since (perhaps) the beginning of time. When two bloods (black and white) meet at an equal proportion, which is likely to visibly vanish after sometime?

When it comes to black skin origin, Africa is the most natural assumption. Though there are selected tribes amongst thousands of diverse African tribes with relatively enough number of naturally fair skin (e.g. the Bushmen of South Africa, the Igbos of Nigeria, Amharic of Ethiopia, the Xhosa of South Africa, Fulani etcetera), the darker ones inspire better Africanism. Some tribes are considered to have some Semitic heritage and hence are not purely African. There are quite a number of African tribes that can be thought of as pure and they are the ones with pitch-black skin. There are also Aboriginals and the island people of Australasia, all more or less purportedly originating from Africa. A real (pitch) black skin is only obtainable on the African soil and that is the one we will like to call pure African skin.

The Senegalese and South Sudanese tribes produce the tribes with the darkest skin colour that can easily be defined as decently African. Some African tribes have untainted traits, such as really deeply dark skin. In such cases, geographical factors might be played in determining the purity of a tribal trait. Almost all cities and countries sharing similar coasts with Asia and/or at a short proximity with Europe and/or Asia tend to have lighter skin than inland African tribes.

Senegal and Southern Sudan are places in Africa where darker tribes can be found. These people were not exposed to any considerable lighter skin admixture for a very long time. Senegal, sitting on the Atlantic coast, has no early contact with Europeans and definitely not with Asia. Even after the Islamization of northern Africa, there was still the Sahara to prevent easy access by the Arabic north, one of the reasons perhaps why original African traits are obtainable there.
There are opinions that black skin tends to give up to white skin eventually. When a white woman had a child with a black man, the offspring can never be black (like the dad) but more or less be inclined to be fairer. And by the time that offspring has a child with a white partner, the black traits tend to visibly vanish or be hidden. But if the interracial offspring had a child with a black partner there will still be some visible whitish trait in the progeny, hence the argument that the white blood tends to stay visible a little longer.

It is based on this clumsy premise that some people believe that the black blood is perhaps not as strong as the white blood. The feminizing of light skin and the masculinizing of dark skin by the mainstream paves way for interracial marriage that is fast 'whitening' black skin, so to speak. Even within a similar tribe, darker guys would want to take a fairer wife and hence further dilute their own 'darkness'. An American Census Data about births, marriage, and co-habitation says that people from different ancestry groups are coupling at rates never before seen.

But it is not true that whiteness has more tendencies to wipe blackness. Most of the promoters of such assumptions are those concerned that white people would rather stay 'the pure race' and not   be admixed with black blood. Some claim that in a mixed race relationship, the first generation of children will have a smooth blend of characteristics from each parent, but in the second generation and all from then on, the characteristics will separate out into their individual racial forms, meaning that God (or nature) has never meant two different races to admix.

Biologically, traits can stay dormant for quite some time without showing. You can see a whitish person but deep down inside his or her genes lay the black genes that could surface anytime in his/her children or grandchildren. It almost caused two white parents to divorce when the wife delivers a black child until a DNA test was done. The child was the husband's and it worked out that the genes had been introduced four generations back and the generations since had all been 'white'.

In the same opinion of those that promote the idea that white skin can take out black skin anytime, a mixed race child has to be identified as 'black', regardless of what colour their skin is. One drop of black blood renders one black. Some controversial point of view there.

Tension aside, whether there is any biological evidence that one of the two extreme of skin color is more powerful than the other, it seems to be of the least concern to the world. You can be black or white but you can never live one thousand years.

Last modified on Saturday, 28 March 2015 13:56
Bashir Kabir

Bashir Kabir, a graduate of B.Sc. Physics from Bayero University, Kano (BUK) is an occupational artist, graphist and writer by choice. Married and residing in Kano state, speaks English and Hausa fluently and also communicate in Arabic and French effectively. Reading, writing, creating and designing stuffs have never been a problem to him.