On August 15, entrepreneur, life coach and author Tracie McKinney is hosting the inaugural Colorism No More event, where panelists will come together to have a transparent conversation about why colorism is still so dominant within the Black community.
Colorism became something McKinney felt compelled to address after she lost her son to Chicago’s gun violence. In a place of despair, she sought revenge against her son’s killer after he dodged prison time and kept committing crimes. As time went on, she realized that she was losing her fight for vengeance against his killer, so she moved to Missouri from Chicago for a fresh start. While she was grieving and looking for an outlet to channel her pain into, she said God put colorism on her radar as something she needed to take on. She didn’t understand why, but she was obedient and the Colorism No More event was born.
“Even I was oblivious as to how serious it was,” she said regarding learning more about colorism. “Someone had helped me to heal so I wanted to do the same thing and help someone love the skin they’re in.”
Curating such an event opened her eyes to how necessary it is to have uncomfortable, transparent conversations about colorism.
“I’m so tired of us as Black people finding grievances to be divided by,” she added. “We have to stop finding every little thing to use to be so hateful towards one another.”
While exploring this issue further, McKinney said it was disheartening to hear so many stories from Black people about their families being the first to be colorist against them. From learning that one of her friend’s grandmother hated them for being light-skinned to hearing a Black man’s story about how his mother favored his brother because he was lighter, McKinney was intrigued yet heartbroken.
“A lot of it starts in the household,” she said. “We’re not dishonoring our parents when we say they weren’t right about everything. I think we have so many things to unlearn that have trickled down to us and we keep on spewing it. That has to stop. I think there’s so much out here that’s already designed to destroy one another.”
Colorism No More, which will be hosted at the Atrium Venues in Country Club Hills, Illinois, will consist of a panel discussion, performances and a dinner for the guests and participants. Ending racism is often the focus of the Black community but with this event McKinney is hoping guests will see how imperative it is for us to end this century-old practice of division and internal hatred.
“I think a lot of people brush it off and act like it’s no big deal because they are not the ones that’s hurting. There’s a lot hurt [in our community] there that I wasn’t aware of so this is why we need to learn and talk about this. We can’t keep having the mentality of ‘what goes on in this house stays in this house’. Our house is on fire.”