Zendaya Says It’s Her Duty To Speak Up Against Colorism


Contributed By: Amaya Starkey

Zendaya is no stranger to speaking openly about the topic of race. She has also spoken out against several police brutality cases against African American citizens.

The former Disney star has discussed everything from her hair to including Black women in bigger entertainment arenas. So, it was no surprise that Zendaya openly challenged her “privilege” as a lighter skinned black woman in the entertainment biz.

Colorism is defined as discrimination against people who have darker skin, typically by people within the same ethnic group.

According to Essence, during the Beautycon Festival located in New York City, Zendaya talked about colorism in Hollywood and many executives view her as the “acceptable version of a Black girl.”

“As a Black woman, as a light-skinned Black woman, it’s important that I’m using my privilege, my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community,” she said during a conversation with Bozoma Saint John, Uber’s chief brand officer. “I am Hollywood’s, I guess you could say, acceptable version of a Black girl and that has to change.”

Zendaya has pushed this conversation forward and has vowed to protect Black representation. She is currently producing a film, A White Lie, about the first Black female Vassar College graduate. The actress claims to have made it her mission that black women of all shades are featured on screens across the world.

“I feel a responsibility to be a voice for the beautiful shades my people come in. Unfortunately, I have a bit of a privilege compared to my darker sisters and brothers,” she said.”

“Can I honestly say that I’ve had to face the same racism and struggles as a woman with darker skin? No, I cannot. I have not walked in her shoes and that is unfair of me to say. But I’m completely behind that woman,” said Zendaya.

As a PROUD brown woman, I thank you sis!


WHUR Contributor

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