Oh, ‘Black Twitter’–a beautiful space that often serves to uplift, humor, and educate. But, every now and again it can transform itself into bitter obstacle course, and this week college student Rachael Malonson experienced that reality for herself.
Malonson, a biracial woman, was crowned Miss Black University of Texas last Sunday [April 30, 2017] and is now facing backlash on the internet over the claim that she isn’t ‘black enough’.
The pageant, hosted by historically black fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi, is being accused of choosing the lightest contestant after Malonson’s crowning.
After the Iota Delta chapter of the fraternity posted photos online, congratulating Malonson, 22, many took to Twitter to inquire on whether or not she was even black due to her lighter complexion.
— islandting ?? (@oddneekah_) May 3, 2017
@avuitton_ @afrolatinababe @ID_NUPEs @RachaelMalonson @WhatUpDoeDoe @Emma_mattie @nyleswashington @Davidallen_3 she's clearly the lightest, damn near white looking "black woman" & she won over the others. quit playing dumb guys. it looks sketchy
— chocolate drop ?✨ (@_ColeWorldShwty) May 3, 2017
Rachel, who was born to a black father and white mother, says that the comments and criticism caught her off guard.
“I didn’t realize that even after I received the title I would still have to explain myself, that there was still ignorant people out there who are asking me to prove myself,” she tells Fox.
“I don’t have to look a certain way to be black.”
Wow. It's really beautiful to see how the black community at UT will come together and stand up for their brothers and sisters❤️
— Rachael Malonson (@RachaelMalonson) May 2, 2017
While disturbing, the controversy raises an often-overlooked topic within the black community on gauging the ‘blackness’ of our peers, typically those of fairer complexions.
“People highly underestimate the residual effects of the Willie Lynch mentality for one. We are a race divided. Our enemies know it. We are a race that has been bastardized and oppressed by those not only of other cultures, but by our own at times when they were light enough to “pass,” writes Melony Hill for The Urban Twist. “We’ve watched those who have a lighter complexion gain favor over us.”
One thing is for sure, while inflammatory, it’s a necessary conversation to have.
Sound off in the comments with your thoughts.