The Color Complex


Snapped while reading. I really always have a problem with the insistence that Jesus would have been white but that’s not my battle to fight.

The Color Complex: Kathy Russel, Midge Wilson and Ronald Hall.

This is my second read through and it was less devastating this time around. I could take the emotion out of it and kok at the research and the compilation of ideas and thoughts on blackness.

Not only is this an outward reflection if blackness and it’s impact but an inward one too.

It’s an interesting read. I would recommend it but you definitely have to be in an open place to receive it. Receiving it in this case is more to do with exploring the topic for yourself and what it means to you than blindly accepting what others have taught you to believe your own blackness or lack thereof was.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Meredith says:

    Jesus is part Israelite part God. What color is that?

    1. Asiaelle says:

      The descriptions of Jesus in the bible do not describe him as what I call “surfer Jesus”. I will find the reference in scripture for you when I get home. Currently at work.

      1. Meredith says:

        I don’t think either one of its think that color matters much. That’s not the focus of faith.

      2. Asiaelle says:

        Completely understandable but if it has been changed it can impact how those who’s image they don’t reflect.

      3. Meredith says:

        I sure wouldn’t call him a surfer Jesus. Thanks for looking for the reference friends.

      4. Asiaelle says:

        Haha. He is represented that way in main stream to me. And no worries.

    2. Asiaelle says:

      As promised, scriptural reference: / To be clear; it’s less about his actual race itself and more about how he became white washed into this really fair skinned guy, with a nice hair cut and a kept beard when IF the historical Jesus did exist in the way the bible reports, then his appearance would have been more rugged and less Caucasoid.

      The issue with it for me is that minorities have been sold this idea of “white, blonde hair, blue eyed jesus” when he would not have been considered that even if we’re going on his heritage on his mother’s side alone. If we’re assuming that the Godly part of him would have had to have been white; that’s a separate issue.

      The passage of the book was exploring how the white washing of good, upstanding, morally upright characters have impacted how black people think about their culture / heritage. White is associated with good. Black with Bad. It was a larger discussion as well; not just throwing a stone because most depictions of Jesus show him to be 100% white.

      Sorry for the monster post and I hope this doesn’t come off as harsh or abrupt. Just providing info and context. Would love to discuss further.

  2. I am reading this book right now (along with 3 other books which is bad)! Every time I have to decide which book I’m going to read, I keep wanting to go back to this one. It’s a great read and I think every person should read it (especially Black people) because it breaks down such an important and often overlooked reality for many people. The historical references are so amazing to learn about and connect so seamlessly with hair discrimination.

    1. Asiaelle says:

      I agree. Its a must read. It really…changed me.

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