Diddy’s Dumb Deed

Bias Against Dark-Skinned Women within the Black Community, also known as “colorism” has reared it’s ugly head again.

There’s been another attack on Black Women by one of our own! Diddy‘s CIROC Vodka sent out a cattle call looking for and I quote, “White, Hispanic and Light-skinned African American” women to represent his vodka. By specifying the type of Black woman, Diddy’s ad campaign exec has reached back to the racism of the early 1900’s brown paper bag mentality.

The brown paper bag test was for admittance to Black social societies and certain, so-called, upscale parties. If a woman was darker than a brown paper bag, she was not allowed to join certain social groups. This type of segregation within the black race can be seen in old Black movies (usually in black and white). You’ll notice that almost all of the black women in these movies were light-skinned. Diddy’s Dumb Deed shows us that although some progress has been made, real CHANGE has not occurred.

Imagine the anguish Black women have experienced and continue to experience in this industry — Those whose skin color is a shade darker than a brown paper bag hoping that if they wear lighter foundation or bleach their skin they might be able to pass for being light-skinned enough to be selected.  Or what about those whose skin color is a few shades darker than a brown paper bag knowing they can’t get the job because they’re just  too dark; this easily leads to self-hatred. Conversely, imagine the thought processes in the waiting room with all the White and Hispanic women feeling superior because they are NOT melanin enriched and Black women feeling less confident because they are in doubt about their beauty and worth because of the color of their skin.

Click the Brown Paper Bag for more info. . .

Furthermore, what would Diddy and/or his staff do when a dark-skinned woman showed up? Would “they” be rude and angrily reiterate that the requirement was for light-skinned Black women ONLY, and then she’d be shamed and embarrassed in front of the crowd of other women because she was told she wasn’t good enough due to her dark-skin?

What would Diddy do if Halle Berry showed up? She is technically a dark-skinned bi-racial woman. What about the beautiful Gabrielle Union, or modeling pioneers Grace Jones, Beverly Johnson, or Iman? Would they be turned away because their skin was too dark?

And the biggest slap in the face would be the denial of our First Lady, Michelle Obama! She would, too, be turned away because she is not light-skinned, White or Hispanic.

The entertainment industry continues to overtly employ racist policies that are considered taboo in other industries.  Are the movies, videos, and TV shows that match Black men (with any useful skills) with non-Black women catalysts for the lack of Black love within the Black race family? This propaganda campaign is using the age-old trick of dividing in order to conquer. How long are we going to fall for the same old tricks???

The only solution is to boycott racism in all forms. This means that under the current conditions with high amounts of single Black woman/mothers, Black women should NEVER support anyone, especially Black men, that want to maintain the status quo. The media and marketing executives will soon learn that to continue to devalue Black women will NOT render them much sought after profits.

And please, no one use the “it’s all about the money” excuse. Hell, slavery was “all about the money” and how many of us condone that behavior? Racism is racism, even when it’s racism within the same group, now called colorism. This is a form of self-hate.

Well let’s use their motivation to our favor, “if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense (cents)!” Don’t allow your hard-earned dollars to be used for anything that promotes division in the Black race.

There’s no acceptable excuse for Diddy. He purposely precluded dark-skinned women from being selected for his ad. The black and white TV ad for Diddy’s vodka currently airing only includes light-skinned women. Diddy’s actions are astounding because his twin daughters are dark-skinned. Can’t he connect the dots and see that he is devaluing his own daughters and insulting his own momma!

Now, this falls right in line with the marketing of Diddy’s perfume too. As I was shopping in Macy’s over a year ago, I saw a large advertisement for Diddy’s perfume with Diddy in the middle of two non-Black women. I thought to myself, I guess my money isn’t good enough for him because that ad didn’t speak to me; as a matter of fact, it was insulting that he CHOSE NOT to use, AT LEAST, one Black woman in his ad.

Don’t these fools realize that Black women are their MAIN market and will support a Black male, especially one in the music industry, in a quick second IF THEY FELT CARED FOR? Well according to the US Census Bureau, there are about 112 million White females and only 20 million Black females, so if this marketing of Black men with non-Black women WORKED, then why is today’s Black music sales by Black men so dismal and declining fast and in a hurry?

If non-Black women were truly ALL INTO BLACK MEN, then why are these types of marketing strategies NOT rendering higher sales figures? There are about 130 million non-Black women and I just don’t see the omitting of Black women in the lives of Black men working and equating to more sales. It seems MOST of “them” don’t realize Black women are Black men’s BIGGEST supporters. As a matter of fact, sales figures are doing the opposite, they are declining!

BlackMediaReview.com has been reviewing and tracing the sales figures of so-called Black movies and record sales for the past two and a half years. Spike Lee, who is usually a shoe-in for making a profitable movie, failed miserably with his Miracle at St. Anna’s, where he promotes the heck out of Black men swooning over White women; so much so that I simply walked out of the movie in disgust. The movie is his biggest loser to date.

Then examine the careers of Taye Diggs, Cedric the Entertainer and many others who made shows/movies featuring non-Black women. They, too, were huge flops! Terrence Howard, who dissed Black women in an interview in Essence Magazine, released his debut album. His record sales were so low that many didn’t even check to see if he could sing. Black women just didn’t care and apparently, neither did non-Black women. His sales didn’t reach 60,000.

And since many people failed to realize that Michael Jackson suffered from the skin depigmenting disease, vitiligo, and seemed to have few Black friends, his sales were declining for decades before his tragic death.

It seems even Whites respect people who respect themselves. Check out who Americans elected President with the most votes in Presidential history? The “sell-out” doesn’t work well for Black folks! Damn it, even proud sell-out Larry Elder, got canceled due to his low TV and radio ratings.

Yes, people watched Will Smith‘s movie, Hancock in large numbers, but he didn’t end up with that White girl at the end of the movie; besides the special effects and the magic of Will Smith’s charm works under nearly every circumstance, except for the movie, SEVEN POUNDS, where he is matched up with self-proclaimed Latina, Rosario Dawson (her last name sounds Black American and she’s quite dark-skinned as well). SEVEN POUNDS is one of his weakest films in recent history!

My “sistas” are finally waking up and no longer making excuses for self-haters. Black women have always purchased Black music, jerseys, and tennis shoes for their sons. Ladies, the proverbial “they” obviously believe we don’t have value, so we can keep our value in our purses. Why give money and power to those who don’t have value for you or, worse yet, don’t like you?

pearl-jr-copyWell, the time has come to make a loud strong statement to celebrities, athletes, executive decision-makers, and anyone else NEEDING to please loads of people, that if you don’t like us, we don’t like you, or better yet, we’ll spend it on people that are showing some signs of support for our community and we’ll pay their bills.

We can forgive, but only with ACTIONS!

Pearl Jr.

Pearl Jr. is an American author, activist, journalist and producer. Pearl Jr. is the author of three books, one documentary and has successfully run four websites (award-winning) and serves as the founder and owner of Elbow Grease Productions (EGP) and Pearl Jr. Publications. She is best known for her work in the African-American community. Pearl Jr. graduated from Cal State Northridge and majored in Radio, TV, Film with a minor in African-American Studies.


  1. Felicia Jones says

    I dont think black is black, so out of respect to the black community. Black media needs to be more diverse. I will no longer support bet or Tyler Perry shows again. I dont support things that make the black community look bad.

  2. linda davis says

    I agree totally, but there’s one more thing Black mothers can do to prevent their son’s from turning out like that self-hating negro combs and that is to let our son know early in life that we prefer they value someone who looks like us. Too often black mothers and grandmothers indirectly encourage these negro men to pursue nonblack women because they also value the physical characteristics of other women. I’m sure you’ve heard them refer to bi-racial children as pretty babies and children. These negro men know that they have the blessing of their mothers; if not, I don’t think so many would be doing it. For ex, take a look at the woman who produced combs.

    • gmoney says

      “I agree totally, but there’s one more thing Black mothers can do to
      prevent their son’s from turning out like that self-hating negro combs
      and that is to let our son know early in life that we prefer they value
      someone who looks like us” Then you are no better than combs.

  3. Clarabu77 says

    Why am I not surprised? Sean Combs chose to live in the Hamptons, after all.  This type of marketing bears only one response. Don’t buy his line of products. Don’t give this man one more cent of your hard-earned money. Or stop complaining.

  4. Cinnasgirl896 says

    Yep and that’s exactly why Red Tails (NO black female leads and the only love scene was featuring a white italian chick) was an expensive FLOP and Act like a Man (starring beautiful brown skinned black women and sexy black men) was a success spending two weeks at #1 at the box office. BlackHollywood needs to take a serious note, the black dollar is HEAVILY supported by black WOMEN! We can makke or break you.

  5. Demi says

    As a dark skinned black woman, it is easy to get caught up in a negative feeling about not being valued or considered as beautiful as lighter skinned black women or non black women, but then I have to remind myself of this most important fact: there is a bigger issue with how women are made into sex objects in order to make men (of all races) money and/or to build up their self confidence, at the woman’s expense. Something that I find interesting is that you don’t hear about or see Asian, Indian or Arabic women being called on for these types of gigs / nor are they complaining about not meeting up to the Western beauty standards which are akin to turning women into prostitutes. It is because women in these groups have strong cultural and religious
    principles that are upheald in their comunity and don’t have to lower
    themselves to such whoreish “modeling” jobs to make a living. Let’s face it -the capitalists THRIVE on making women of all races feel UNBEAUTIFUL in their natural state, so they can push more products on them and they simultaneously use women as sexual objects to sell products to men. So they manipulate women and men.  With women – they make us feel ugly so we will buy more. With men – they make them feel like they need a product to be more macho/manly. Atleast most dark skinned black women, by default, will never be a part of the capitalist machine and systematic EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN that is a part of the STATUS QUO, WHITE MALE POWER STRUCTURE.

  6. says

    Diddy is wrong for this, but I’m not surprised. Those type of guys have some plantation elitist mentality that lighter skin is more desirable. it is truly a sad day, but thankfully times are changing .We have to educate our children so that they don’t grow up with this self hate syndrome.

    • Bren says

      I can’t fully agree with your comment. Over half of P Diddy’s girlfriends were dark skinned African American women. Who cares really what he asked for in some commercial. That’s the look he was going for.

  7. Tina says

    I think all of this complaining is useless. There is nothing that you could do for what is perceived to be more marketable. P-Diddy has a dark wife. He knows that strategic marketing will cater to the clientele that he wants buying the drink. Lighter is more marketable than darker. I’m an in-between color but I’d probably be too dark too for high end marketing. I really don’t care. It’s no secret that the masses find lighter skin more attractive. Let’s just stop complaining about it because that doesn’t change matters. If you don’t think it’s fair, then lighten up!

  8. Janice says

    It is an issue with black females more than black males because black males don’t encounter this problem.. “Tall/dark/handsome is a preference for black men, not black women.
    Look at Seal, look at the guy who married Kimora Simmons. How many black males would marry a black female their complexion, We keep hearing the same things over again because it continues to happen. I am 62 and I can still remember a guy telling his friend I don’t want nothing that black but a Cadillac when I was about 16 years old. I can still remember people saying when I got older”You’re dark but you’re pretty” and getting upset when I didn’t take it as a compliment. I can still remember going to civil rights meetings where black pride was the theme but during the after parties, white girls were the main attraction. I can remember how shocked my roommate was when I told her I would never marry a dark skinned man as I never wanted my children to go through what I went through. It is only crap when you don’t experience it.

    Look at the movies, look at the videos. The primary female love interest is very rarely darker than a brown paper bag. (however the male can be deep blue black.) It has taken me many years to feel good about myself and my color, no thanks to the media, I’m not against lighter skinned females nor am I jealous. I’m for inclusion of all colors from red-boned to dark chocolate.

    It is a shame that not only do I have to fight for respect and appreciation from whites but from my own. This is only an abbreviated version of the slights and insults I’ve taken from being “dark-skinned.” And for the record, no I don’t have big lips or a big nose or short hair!.

    • says

      Hi Janice – my heart is so heavy after reading your soul melting reply. The passion in your “voice” is the kind of inspiration that I contribute to the creation of Chickie Brown – my apparel line – “Honeysoul Style to Make A Brown Girl Smile” Please check out my “Creed Page” on my site (chickiebrown.com) You are not alone. I salute you my sister – Keep your beautiful head up…


  9. GOD says

    Turned away? LOL None of the actresses (Maybe except Halle Berry aka Monster’s Ball sex scene) or the First Lady would lower themselves for such degenerate sickness. “devaluing his own daughters and insulting his own momma!” Not really. No dark woman would be that desperate or dumb to be advertised as sexual fodder for some pathetic drunk. Just imagine our First Lady holding a bottle of that sewer sludge and saying ,” It’s just as good as me if not better.” If that cheesy advertisement or marketing campaign is the best that Pity Diddy can dream up then we as a race are doomed.

  10. Julie says

    I personally like dark skinned people; so does Kimora Simmons, and the model with her dark skinned husband, Seal. Dark skin is rich, like chocolate, smooth and silky. So much definition; whereas light skin is a dime a dozen. Why? because of mixing cultures, so many ranges of color to choose. Diddy should check out the the full package, he’s looking for. I can understand body weight, but the rest of the old days “paper bag” is far too humiliating for us. we have more important issues that worrying about the color of skin. go look at fabrics, as women are being reduced down to material goods.

  11. Nia says

    Beautifully written!!! It’s not to sound as if we are being feminists, but it is the truth when someone highlights this problem and talk about it. I am ashamed to see my fellow black women hating themselves because of the colour of their skin. I am from a multiracial family background, but you will call me a black woman because I am dark skinned. Especially with our young women, they go to the extreme to lighten their skin just to feel accepted and it’s digustingly sad! Black women are some of the most insecure women, not to generalize, but it’s true, based in the society that we live in. But black women need to start loving themselves more and excel in their abilities whatever they may be, and prove that they are worth more than what others think they’re worth.

    • Genesis says

      You are not a black woman so stop generalizing all black women into one category. We are all individuals if I said you were confused because you were of mixed race will that be wrong??? That is a generalization of your race or just a stereotype. Until you can step in a black woman’s shoes pipe down and stay on your lane

  12. Cynthia says

    I am surprised that any famous black male with a publicist, would openly express their dislike for darker skinned black women, fully knowing how it will affect their fanbase, if for nothing else. Most black men that prefer lighter skinned women, just simply date and marry them, they just don’t mention their preference,but to openly say it when searching for models for an ad, shows almost a type of cruelty towards darker skinned women.This disregard for darker skinned females is not a reflection on those beautiful women, it’s a reflection on how he views himself( as a very chocolate gentleman)It really is a shame that things have to be like this, but honestly one simply cannot argue another out of their preferences, but what they can do is see it as exactly what it is horrible self hatred.

    • Tina says

      No Cynthia, men like the opposite. Darker skin looks less feminine to men. The only men who find darker skin sexy are pale guys.

  13. AllPeople (AP) GIfts says


    The legend of the existence of so-called ‘Brown Paper Bag’
    Tests; ‘Blue Vein’ Societies; ‘Fine-Toothed Comb’ Tests; etc.
    – have been PROVEN by multiple historians to have been
    (very much like the infamous so-called ‘Willie Lynch Letter /
    Speech’ HOAX and the myth of a Light-Skin ‘House’ / Dark-Skin
    ‘Field’ chattel=slave “hierarchy) nothing more than a series of
    ‘Urban Myths’ and ‘Urban Legends’ created in order to incite
    unmerited hostility toward people of Multiracial Lineage.

    Write to me at soaptalk@hotmail.com and I can provide you
    to bibliography, links and other sources which prove that
    that these urban myths and legends are unfair and true.


  14. Jamel says

    I do not know what your level of education is but there is no such term as “in-average”. At any rate, Black women are more confident with themselves than any other race of women which is the reason why weak Black need the affirmation of women outside of their race to feel adequate in face of the high levels of confidence that Black women possess. Furthermore, way before WW2, white men were having unconsensual sex with their Black female slaves which produced the much of the beauty that you see in women that you think are White but many have Black plantation blood in them. It is so hilarious to me when I read and hear comments like yours because as a beautiful Black woman, I never feel less than to see the admiration that Puffy, Kanye, Kobe, Lamar Odom, or any other Black male celebrity or business man gives to non-Black women because witnessing this foolishness all of my life, it makes those men not attractive to me and has made me insure that I never will have to rely on the love, attention, or money on those Black men who really have a dislike for their own looks to feel a success in life. What men like you and them need to think about is not how women like me feel but how they are messing up the self-esteem of the daughters that they have?

    • Tina says

      Black women are not more confident. They lie about it…if they were more confident, we wouldn’t have thousands of blogs and articles such as this one. Black women need to wake up and just accept that their look is not preferred. Life goes on…and if they were as stable and as sure of themselves they would have no problem holding this mentality. But they cry scream and pout out of insecurity.

  15. Jamel says

    I understand some of the points this article is making, but most of this article bleeds of a black woman’s insecurities. For starters, Spike Lee’s movie was originally a book authored by someone other than him. Secondly, the movie was not promoting that black men should be with white women, and only an insecure woman could get that from that movie. The movie was about black soldiers in WW2, and believe it or not, black soldiers did sleep with some of the women in those countries. I see hypocrisy in this whole dark skin vs. light skin women controversy. The dark skin women are only upset because they’re not the average beauty standard in America and light skin women are the average beauty standard. If they were the average American beauty standard they wouldn’t be jealous of dark skinned women. Just because you’re not the average beauty doesn’t mean that you’re not beautiful. You have to embrace your in-average features and be confidant with yourself.

    • Rrhonda says

      This is for carmen and jamel I am a dark complexion women and I know I am very nice looking… I never knew that American beauty standard is light skin… if that is true that is very stupid since the darker complexion was the first skin to hit this planet… I will never be jealous any light skin person…the only thing true you have spoken… is that a lot of dark skin women are not average at all…

  16. Carmen says

    Well, I’d just like to say that this type of color obsession has been going on for years. I think it’s sad that music videos of today and the majority of athletes prefer “other” women. If Diddy truly was looking to cast “fair skinned” beauties, it’s sad. There are so many lovely shades to black. There are too many “baby mama’s” today not wives. The black men tend to marry white women.
    Just look around–Terrence Howard, Taye Diggs, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tiger Woods, Seal, Jermaine Jackson, Randy Jackson, James Brown, John Amos, Wesley (Asian only) Snipes, Quincy Jones, Dr. Dre, O.J., Harold Perrineau, Terrell Owens, just to name a few. It’s painful so ppl don’t like to talk about it, but there are many racist black ppl out her too.
    .-= Carmen´s last blog ..Threadless Tshirt Giveaway at jaypeeonline.net =-.

  17. Say What? says

    Sorry, y’all, Mrs. Obama is BROWN-skinned, she’s not really dark.

    People are gonna want what they want – you cannot force black people (or anyone else) to date/marry someone darker than them if it isn’t what they want. It simply is what it is.

  18. AntBea says

    Will someone explain why Black folks continue to push the color issue?

    Are darker skinned Black females jealous of lighter skinned folks/females because it seems to be an issue with Black females more than Black males.

    Why do some of us continue to wallow in the old "paper bag", "light skin/dark skin" crap?

    We are the ones who keep the negatives going. We read/hear the same things over and over again.

    As for MJ. He is not a child molester. He does not want to be white.

    Black folk, stop the madness!

    • Genesis says

      When I turn on my tv I want to see somebody that looks like me too on commercials, video, movies, etc it’s not about being jealous. Black women is not even the issue the issue is black men gaining success and then the black woman who held him down is beneath him these same black men hate themselves they have to why wouldn’t you want somebody that looks like you on your arm. Or better yet why wouldn’t you want somebody who you know is in your corner to remain you know they intensions. When these fools downplay women they downplay themselves, they mothers, they kids, and the black race as a whole. You can have all the money in the world you can’t buy respect with it nor can you love yourself with it. Needless to say I won’t be wasting no more of my money I will not support those that don’t support us. I stopped watching videos almost completely the first few seconds of a video you see where it’s going I definitely don’t buy there music or even attend concerts anymore.

  19. Tadasanah says

    I was with you until you hit the Michael Jackson discussion, where this disintegrated into crazy talk. How did you win all of those journalistic awards without acknowledging that MJ's decline in popularity is attributable in large part to the attributions of child molestation? Do you really think that UK concert goers bought tickets because they cared (or even knew) that he attended JB's funeral or JJ's birthday party? As for the rumor that he was going to marry a "Black African female," that's a new one (i.e., I am one step away from saying that you made that up), unless you're talking about that 20-year-old nonsense about the multi-culti chick from "The Way You Make Me Feel," which she now denies, and which would hardly have had any bearing on ticket sales after 2000.

    Also? "Seven Pounds" sucked because it was grim and boring, not because Will Smith ended up with Rosario Dawson (and check yourself here, seriously, because it's not up to you to decide who defines themselves how, ethnically). I've been a fan for a long time, but I'm not feeling where you're starting to float.

  20. Lily says

    Although it is 2009 and much of the past racism have not been as apparent, it completely surprised me to see the term 'light skinned African American.' That type of blatant discrimination is not acceptable. The list of notable 'dark skinned' African Americans really drove the point home very well.

    Another interesting point that I noticed in the cattle call for the ad was no mention of Asian Americans. If we were to be progressing forward from racism, all must be included, including Asians.

  21. Tamara says

    Awesome! Black Women are no longer taking this which was evidenced by the response CIROC issued following the outcry. The game has changed and self hating Blacks need to realize it.

  22. Monieka says

    No we are not jealous of lighter skinned females. I love being dark skinned and futhermore stop casting this issue aside as if it is not important because it is. There as been a problem in this country with darker skinned people since its existence. Darker skinned people have been purposely and systematically financially, physically and emotionally oppressed. It is a double for women who are dark because in this country to be respected and valued as a woman you need to be light and that is not right.


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