You’re Black Because You’re Not White

Does being a “yellow bone” rather than a “tar baby” make you any safer during a routine traffic stop?

 

You’re Black Because You’re Not White is an installation created by Melissa Sutherland that puts age-old colorism colloquialisms front and center. This display calls attention to divisive labels dating as far back to slavery that are still alive and well today. 

 

 As a Black woman who investigates colorism and intra racial dynamics as a phenomenon occurring within everyday settings and interaction, I stand in my authority and ask the tough questions. Do these distinctions that derived during dark days of discrimination serve a purpose today? Does being a “yellow bone” rather than a “tar baby” make you any safer during a routine traffic stop? You’re Black Because You’re Not White is a mic drop reminder that Black, no matter the hue— means Black.

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