Black is still Beautiful

Bantu Biko
Bantu Steven Biko

One of the people who started the “Black is Beautiful” movement in South Africa was Bantu Steven Biko. I think he would be disappointed in us if he were alive today because now we live in the age of the “yellow bone” is beautiful. Isn’t it sad that we still measure ourselves on how close we are to being white? The straighter your hair the prettier/classier/hotter/richer you look.


The quest for wanting to be more lighter in complexion has become so bad that many more people are bleaching their skin. Celebrities included. It’s a trend and soon becoming a desired lifestyle – especially among women.

Apartheid really pulled a number on us as a people. Think about the kind of things our parents (those that got affected) used to say to us – “Wuuu…..she’s a dark beauty!”, “You know light kids are naturally beautiful”. Our parents have always grown up raised and taught to think that “white” in all forms is better and always will be. This mentality has filtered down to us and now we’re sitting here talking about “yellow bones”. Why do we classify ourselves according to complexion?

I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I don’t contend the fact that some “yellow bone” individuals are indeed unanimously gorgeous. That’s fine. What I don’t like, is that just because you’re “yellow bone” you’re considered beautiful by default.

Black is Beautiful
Black is Beautiful

I think the concept that the late Steve Biko was trying to teach us was that “Black” as a people is beautiful. That means, I need not measure myself to how close I am to being “white” but rather to love and appreciate my God given colour and hair. If you really think about it – we’ve become shallow, vain and quite honestly sad – we’ll never be “white”. Almost/close/nearly/“yellow bone” – it’s still not “white”. Back in the day we were all in the same boat. Now that we have freedom the darker you are the more “we” hate you.

One of the great commandments stated by Jesus was “Love your neighbour as you love yourself”. If you live by this then you know that you cannot truly love someone else unless you love yourself. So what does it mean if I hate you for being “darker” than me? It means I hate the “dark” in me first. I hate that I’m black?

Lupita Nyongo in 12 Years a Slave
Lupita Nyongo in 12 Years a Slave

If Lupita Nyongo was an ordinary South African, I wonder how she would’ve experienced this country, at the hands of fellow black people.

Lupita Nyongo
Lupita Nyongo

We need to actively change how we see ourselves so that we can change the way we see each other and in effect change the way we treat each other.

Let’s live liberated of the “apartheid/slave” mentality.

ACTION: Apart from wearing my natural hair – I resolve to tell everyone I know and their cousin that “Black is beautiful”.

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