How black mothers talk to their daughters about skin tone | The Guardian

Rajni and daughter Lucienne

Rajni: I’m dark chocolate. She’s like a café au lait.

People say, ‘Oh your kids are going to be so beautiful’, because they know her father is white. I have to stop and say, ‘I’ve seen some busted biracial kids too!’ Having that whiteness doesn’t make her automatically beautiful.

Estelle and daughter Sailor

Estelle: I’m light-skinned black, and Sailor basically looks white.

She has this skin tone that’s accepted universally, everywhere. She has an automatic pass with that. What she might run into are questions like, ‘How come you have light skin and your mommy has brown skin?’

To that, I’m like, can’t we all just have different skin colors? There are so many different colors in the rainbow, colors of skin. That doesn’t define who we are. What does is our heart and soul.