“ Its no use applying for a bank job.
Those jobs are only given to ’light skinned’ girls”,
she smiled apologetically.
She was a friend and that was the way things were.
The news was not new news...
Old news reinforced by the ‘pit in my stomach’ feeling I experienced
whenever I was faced with the insurmountable.
Back then in the 1970's, I was a high school graduate looking for a
local job with prospects - this confirmed what I already knew.
I applied anyway, to the two local banks in my small Caribbean
Ex-classmates Kathleen and Gayle got bank jobs almost immediately.
From years together at high school with them I knew what their
academics were. One had graduated with 2 G.C.E. subjects and the
other had 3; I had 7 subjects at GCE O’level.
[GCE = UK high school Diploma]
So I smiled to myself.
I remember the first time I became aware of the difference....
Even in our multi racial culture where most everyone had African lineage
but some people because of European ancestry were noticably different
in skin colour.
“Good looking little darkie”
said the visitor to my aunt’s home when he saw me.
I was an innocent 7 year old and I was struck by his words. I remember
thinking to myself that ‘at least I was not ugly’.
There are different perspectives on beauty and it seems that back in the
1960s to 1970's as I recall, it was preferable for bank employees to be
‘light skinned’. So banking was out..
‘Out of the blue’ I received a call from my old Mother Superior offering
me a teaching job at my local parish high school. So I became a
teacher for a while. There was no colour bar there.
Those days are long gone and the local ‘island’ banks now employ
people on the basis of their ability.
On reflection, I would never have been happy in banking. God knew
that, when He closed that door for me and opened others doors instead.
I moved to the UK where I had to deal with even greater and more
intense issues of ‘light and dark’. As I grew older and forgave more, the
Who gave Light and Who Is Light grew stronger in my spirit.
Being ‘ dark or light’ is a spiritual matter, I’ve discovered.
It’s especially a matter of the heart . It shows out in how we live and what
The Father of Light is my Father. Praise the Lord, His Spirit lives in me.
The purveyor of ‘dark’
is my enemy and the enemy of us all.
That too is a condition of the spirit, of the heart and it trickles into the soul
and the body and shows out in actions.
Light produces fruit, Good fruit - and it is Stronger than darkness.
Light dispels darkness;
when light shows up, darkness flees.......
So, in conclusion, if in the minds of post - colonialists my dark skin was
an offense, a disqualifier or an ‘ugly’ -
this was a condition of their hearts, their spirits were misaligned.
James 1:17)“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and
cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness,
neither shadow of turning”.
Mat 5:13-16 : You are the salt of the earth,...(14) You are the light of the world.
A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden… (16) Let your light so shine before
men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in
God’s call upon His people, as revealed from cover to cover in the Bible, to be salt
and light in this earth.
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