So, I’m doing the multitask thing on this Sunday, watching the Giants game, and reading about the supposed controversy surrounding actress Zoe Saldana, who’s slated to play renowned jazz singer Nina Simone, in a bio-pic called “Nina”.

However, what stood out to me the most was the reasoning behind said outcry; it wasn’t for what may presume would be an ill-fitting amalgamation of the two personality types, but for the archaic fact that the actress isn’t “dark enough” to be able to accurately portray the blues singer. It got me thinking about the LONG standing opinions that still exist to this day, in regards to the social, and identity classification that we attribute to each other through our skin tone.  I thought, that this issue was dead and buried with all of the other -ions and -isms that African-Americans had to deal with, especially with the appointment of the first African-American president, that at least the societal degradation had found its way to be hidden in the annals of history. However, like history, if we don’t understand it, we’re doomed to repeat it, right? Racism hasn’t vanished, it’s still there, just below the surface; what’s more disheartening that it’s within our very own race!!!

How many times have you heard the judgments of the older generation whenever skin tone came into play? I know that I can remember many times where an elder would chastise ( or belittle) someone, because their skin wasn’t as white washed as the fairer of the race. The red bones, and high yellows of the ‘upper class negro’; the soft flowing, silken hair of the acceptable darkies!? Even to this day you can still hear faint whispers of the separation of our race within…almost like an implosion. We have been taught to not value the diversity of our race, we have been told that the light skin is in, heck we even had the year of the “dark brotha” via Mr. Snipes! However, why must we even acknowledge it? In today’s Hollywood, lighter skin is more marketable than dark. Don’t believe me, look at every movie that casts a African-American in a leading role, especially as a love interest, or along side a top billed white actor…looks like the ink is running out isn’t it?

We all would like to believe that America is this great country of multiculturalism, where all nationalities are represented equally and fairly, however that isn’t the case. Deep down, behind the veil, the beast still resides, we know it and see it. However, it’s another story when we realize that the beast is within us as well.

So, I ask you, do you judge by skin tone or character? Be honest.