True Colors

Yesterday I went with my sister Ann, and my friend Missey to the CSU Experimental Gardens. We  took a walk thru the rows and rows of flowers and plants and read the signs with identifying info and color names. There is no such thing as a “blue” flower or “pink” flower: there is a “summer sky” or “tickled pink” flower. It’s like paint colors. Benjamin Moore, for example, has “white” paint names like Chantilly Lace,  Simply White, Cloud White, White Heron and Paperwhite, and this is only the tip of the Iceberg, which is another Benjamin Moore paint color! We are surrounded by color, but some` people are color blind and are unable to distinguish certain colors, most often red and green. Your friend tells you they have achromatopsia and you think this sounds like a fatal illness, but you are relieved to find out that achromatopsia is the rarest form of color-blindness and your friend cannot see any color, instead everything appears in shades of gray. Now, at least you know you will never ask your friend”Does this color look good on me?”, but you may feel sad for your colorless friend as you witness a beautiful sunset or a rainbow.

“People of color” is a descriptor we hear a lot today. We are in the midst of a racial reckoning and unfortunately as a society we are not “color-blind”. We are influenced by racial prejudice and skin color. White, black, and brown are more than skin colors, they are part of our identity and can affect all aspects of our lives. Discrimination based on skin color is also known as colorism. Wikipedia says”…people who share similar ethnicity traits or perceived race are treated differently based on the social implications that come with the cultural meanings that are attached to skin color.” Historically even within the African -American Community skin tone has been used to determine social status and privilege. Lighter-skinned African-Americans sometimes benefit from having a skin color that is closer to that of whites. What do paper bags have to do with colorism? “Paper bag parties” common from 1900 up to the 1950’s were held in neighborhoods with a high concentration of African-Americans. Clubs, churches, fraternities and other organizations based admittance on whether a persons skin color was darker or lighter than a brown paper bag. There is such a thing as being “too black” or just “white enough”.

“Color my World”. Chicago

show one’s true colors:
To reveal what one truly believes, thinks, or wants; to act in accordance with one’s real personality, temperament, or disposition

True-blue: unwavering in one’s commitment, extremely loyal. Blue: sad or unhappy

Yellow or yellow-bellied:cowardly, behave in a way that makes you unable to do what is right or expected

Seeing red: refers to when someone becomes so angered that it controls them, enraging them

Green · inexperienced at a particular task or in a line of business · a : marked by a pale, sickly, or nauseated appearance, b : envious

We color our world. I spend lots of time playing with the colors on my ipad. Us older folks remember that fresh box of crayons we took to school. I loved the  colors in the box and the fresh tips on the crayons. It made me feel there were endless possibilities. I perused the colors and chose one and began to color outside the lines.

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