This post is dedicated to
the 4-year-old who asked his mom
if he was dirty because his skin is dark.
A stigma has been placed on people of color, around the world, leading others to believe something must be wrong with us. I have a problem when our children start believing this as well. Who can blame them when most of the people they see in movies, advertisements and on tel-e-“vision” do not look like them. And when they do see people who look like them, it’s likely on the news related to something bad.
In my experience with people who try to make others look bad, it’s typically done to mask their own shortcomings. For example, as a kid growing up, I was teased for being a “know it all” by someone who wanted to take attention away from the fact that he wasn’t doing well in school. The same thing is happening here. There isn’t anything wrong with us (people of color). On the contrary, there is something very right with us.
People with dark skin have an abundance of Melanin which, according to Dr. Jewel Pookrum, “is the very foundation from which cells in the human body originate”. The darker you are, the more you have. This affords us the luxury of many health benefits including, but not limited to:
- protection from the sun’s UV rays, allowing for greater
- absorption of energy from the sun
- production of Vitamin D, which absorbs calcium to promote bone growth
- slower aging process of the skin
- prevention of skin damage caused by free radicals
People who lack color have very little Melanin. Some even see it as a valuable commodity, and are willing to pay for it in the form of Melatonin pills and Melanotan injections.
Dr. Jewel Pookrum on Melanin – youtube.com (visit her website at thejewelnetwork.net)
Health Benefits of Melanin – livestrong.com
Synthetic Melatonin Pills – nlm.nih.gov
Melanotan Injections – lovemelanotan.com (this is a website that sells the injections)
The next time you encounter a child with dark skin, hug them and let them know just how special and unique they are because they were born with an abundance of something other people wish they had more of – Melanin.