I just finished viewing a documentary about dark-skinned Black females, women with melanin magic, women with the gift of living close to the original chocolate flavor chosen for us all until swirled with vanilla. The documentary, Dark Girls 2, started as a lamentation of what it feels like to have a dark complexion
within the Black culture.  I was amazed at the entrenched pain the girls suffered growing up that continued to wreak havoc on their self-esteem as women.  I sat watching with a smirk on my face.  My smirk was all about you-know-who – me, Midnight.

Yes, that was one of my nicknames as a teenager.  I was given that name when I entered St. Thomas Apostle High School; before then, at Hyde Park, I was Teddy Bear, Black Beauty, but I really liked Midnight.  I loved being Black, having dark skin. What?!

You can’t tell me that spirituality is not important.  Growing up as a Catholic girl indoctrinated by the confidence of aspiring sainthood, (I’m not kidding), I had a big personality and exuded confidence.  It did not occur to me that I could be considered less-than because of my dark skin.  Unlike the girls I viewed in the documentary, I always thought something was wrong with people who could not see my beauty.  When my dance teacher said to the class, “OK, light girls to the front, and dark girls to the back,” I was confident that the teacher, Mr. Morrison, had lost his mind. I knew my worth and that I could really dance. (Anyway,  the main teacher, Sammy Dyer, loved me).   I remember my Aunt Ruth, who taught me her special moves, could not dance professionally because she was too dark.  Now that story saddened me. I guess looks have always been important to our culture. So let’s talk about looks

Me and brother, Bernie

In the land of colorism, there are different shades of Black, from light, almost white, to jet black.  I am next to jet black, definitely dark.  As a child, I looked like Buckwheat. Not in a bad way – in a true way.  My mom used to grease my face for the Chicago cold, and I wore ace caps like my brother.   That was my look until I began to blossom as a pre-teen. As a teen, I was centered with girls, most of who were a lighter hue, but I had my share of attention and was quite social; so skin color was not an issue.  I remember a beautiful girl that was brown-skinned (coffee-with cream brown) asking, “Does it look like I’m getting lighter?” And I heard girls I danced with talk about perspective boyfriends. “He can’t be darker than coffee with cream.”  I tell you I was mortified, not for me, but by them and for them!  Somehow I knew how shallow it was to base preferences and a person’s worth by their skin color. My boyfriends, husband, and now, Mr. K., were chosen from the inside, out. 

I was always teased for loving my skin. “You think you something ’cause you black!” And they were right.  Even before I knew the moniker,  Black to be beautiful or powerful,  I smiled when they called me Midnight.  I knew I had something unique, the splendor/magic described, and taught in the second half of the documentary. Now, y’all, get ready…I had to teach my deceased husband and kids about colorism too.  They got it from the other end.  Bob and Miles were “damned-near white,” and Camille was a “yellow girl.”

When I met Bob, he would be ready to fight if someone mentioned his color.  As a kid, he was taunted and called  “White boy.” Both his parents were very light-skinned, and his grandfather was mulatto.  I walked into a room to meet his father’s uncles, and they were white! I mean really light.  He told me that some passed for white. Bob couldn’t wait to tell me how Black he knew he was. I had to assure him that Black comes in many hues and that ignorant people didn’t deserve his ire. Growing up on St. Maarten, Camille felt bad because she wasn’t dark, like her mama.  To the rescue again, I assured her of her beauty. Miles also grew up on the island and color meant nothing to him at age 5.  But when we moved back to the States to Virginia Beach and someone screamed “Nigger!”  we had to teach him about race, but never discussed colorism with him. He still tries to wear twists, but can’t make them stick. What?!

Colorism is not unique to Black culture.  Unfortunately, most cultures aspire to be lighter, if not white, from Asians and Latinx to Africans.  White folks try to get dark or be Black, As an adult, I thanked my parents for somehow bolstering me against the trials of colorism. Documentaries such as Dark Girls 2, will be credited for making colorism transparent and for teaching how to empower girls of all shades.  In the ’60s when we heard “Black is beautiful,” it meant all shades of black; it still does.

Joy Juice

We are a myriad of magnificence, brilliantly Black.






“It’s all/love/God” – Victorine

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Author:  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware,Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon



This is it, Y’all. I’ve had it with these young folks. Tellin’ me how to do things, hmmph! ‘Think I can’t text, post, meme, emoji, website, press release, or anything. Yes, technology is new, but I have built websites and I publish this blog. It’s just that I do what I do S…L…O…W…L…Y. What!

Yes, it takes me a minute to think about the task I want to accomplish and to figure out how to navigate it, but I still got the bones for the foundation of a good effort. I am the elder of an activist group, Project Say Something. When it’s time to move, they do a group text thread. Y’all! They start a post; I start responding, except the text I’m responding to has long been forgotten, and they are on to something else. Oy!!! Whether it’s ally training or planning for a forum, they move so quickly I am challenged to stay with them. “Elder” is a politically correct description for me. I am old., but aged gold.  What!

I’m older, which is why they count on me to share my wisdom, (just not in the thread…“I think that we should actually formulate”NO!!! ) I am wise enough to know when it’s time for me to sit back and let young’uns take the lead.  Thank God, Eckhart Tolle got me out of the way of my ego.  I held on to the church my husband and I built but realized I was embracing it to pass on to my daughter, Camille Bennett; to give it new life.  It is now sanctuary to a free program for preschoolers and an after school and summer program.  We convene in our Upper Room for service, and I love it! Sometimes, us folks with aged wisdom need to sit down and let young folks take the reins. 

There are organizations that have had the same folks running them for years, which is why they don’t run; they crawl.  And these folks crave power, which is what makes them powerless in forward movement.  In this case, sometimes age doesn’t matter.  If movement is stale, move out of the way and let some new blood take its course.  Give new life to organizations and events, and for goodness sake, support the young folks.  Why we have to fight them I don’t know.  Some folks even hate on them and subvert their efforts.  Yes, the young’uns need to yield to our experience, but we should not berate voices that reflect a new day.  The young’uns must also invite the wisdom of older folks. We do not need to be cast aside but honored. Congress is a good example

The Squad in Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, is progressive and doesn’t care about politics, but they are relentless in their fight for change.  They had to be political to make a change. (Why it’s important to vote, Young’uns). However, they wanted to steamroll Congresswoman, Nancy Pelosi, and her efforts to be Speaker of the House. Today they discovered they need her wisdom and she is as fierce as they. She yields to their energy, and they respect hers.  

I kind of snuck in a plea for voting, but today more than any time in the world, both young’uns and seniors must vote for making change.  The Squad was smart enough to figure this out; they could not execute plans without dealing with the flawed system in place.  Us seniors were a part of witnessing, sometimes building, that system, but we are young enough in spirit to stand with and for young’uns to make the changes we need to meet our agenda

I stand with Pastor Wesley Thompson, older than a millennial but still a young’un, who at a local rally for peace and justice ignited  us to”Make the change!”  We are wise enough to let young folks march, speak, protest, and do it, (COVID, #staysafe), and old enough to share experience and give support. That’s what makes us aged gold.

Joy Juice

We have suffered many mighty blows, the last being the lynching of George Floyd,  But this tragedy has sparked a fire all over the world.  Joy comes in the recognition that a mighty shift is taking place. What does this mean for us seniors? As Bob Dylan says in The Times They are a-Changin‘, “Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand for the times they are a-changin’.”
  I feel blessed to lend a hand without needing to be at the helm.

“It’s all/love/God” – Victorine

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© 2020 Camp Goldston LLC – All Rights Reserved


Author:  Be S.A.F.E., StillAware,Faithful,Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon