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When Grace Gealey moved to the United States from the Cayman Islands, she probably experienced many cultural differences. But according to the “Empire” actress, what surprised her the most about American women was the whole light-skinned/dark-skinned war.

“For me personally, it’s the whole light-skinned/dark-skinned dynamic [for women of color]. I mean, there’s competition among women everywhere you go. But back home we understand that you can look like a variety of things and still be from the same culture,” she told Details. “What I’m saying is that I’ve never felt like I was a light-skinned Black woman. Never felt that way because we shared the same culture back home.”

However, the 30-year-old adds that after interacting with American women, she was made fully aware of her complexion.

“When I came to America, that’s when I started to feel that there was a lot of push-back from women. I was definitely made aware that I am light-skinned. I realized that was a thing here.”

The actress went on to say that she was discriminated against by other women due to her lighter complexion.

“It was something that people felt the need to point out. I guess maybe it’s a form of intra racism: I was discriminated against for being light-skinned and there were a lot of labels. Some people assumed that guys might like me more because of my complexion or that I had it easier in general. Which is funny because I’ve been a victim of prejudice as well: There were times when I have walked into a Rite Aid at 12 o’clock at night and had the store manager stand in the corner and stare at me while I was looking at nail polishes.”


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