Photo Credit: Noelle Théard © 2012 BlackStarCreative LLC. All rights reserved.

“There are definite privileges associated with being perceived as ‘coolie.’ In Jamaica, people react positively to my appearance, saying that I’m very beautiful. But, I never got the sense that they see me as a beautiful person necessarily. The beauty is associated with particular features I have like my hair and my skin; and in that sort of beauty lies a distinction from other Black Jamaicans.  For a long time I struggled with it – I was affirmed, but it was tied to phenotype in a way that I was uncomfortable with. Most of the discomfort lies in the fact that the most influential women in my life identify as Black and are dark skinned; and I always saw myself in them.”

Kaneesha
Lynbrook, New York
Black / Multiracial

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