I keep running across the question “when will we stop seeing color and start seeing human beings.” I think we are asking the wrong question.
I get the premise behind it, although why don’t we ask a question hitting the individual at the root?
You see…I am an artist…a co-creator…I see color. I see the hue and saturation within everything I look at. When I look at something or someone…it is not simply a noun that pops into my head, rather many pleasant and descriptive adjectives followed by that simple noun. Those adjectives are important to me, because they list the details. See, my Creator is into details…that is where you will find Him. That is where you find what He says, feels and thinks about that noun. This is how I choose to think, feel, and see as well, because that is up to me. I simply choose to see what I see
So let go back to the saturation of something. It is the intensity of a color, expressed as the degree to which it differs from white. Hue…on the other hand means both a color and a shade of a color.
When I meet people with a different skin color than me…I see their color…I see their COLORS. That will not change and I don’t see anything wrong with it.
You see…color does matter. When you look at someone and see color, you have to see deeper to see the hue and saturation.
Now, lets go back to the question, “when will we stop seeing color and start seeing human beings.” I think the question we must ask is…
“When will we stop seeing color and start seeing colors?”
“When will we start seeing colors for their beauty, commonality, and purpose?”
Once, I had an art teacher who saw something in me, that I certainly did not see in myself. She asked me (when pointing to a picture in a magazine) “what color do you see?” I remember my single minded, smart-alec, one word response being, ”black!” She said “nope.” I thought she was crazy and certainly didn’t understand, because we were looking at a shadow within the photo…I saw dark…I saw black. She continued pointing to the “black” area, telling me she saw blues, grays, browns, reds, and even yellows. Then I really thought she was nuts…until I looked deeper. She then went on to explain, black is not just black…it is made up of multiple colors woven together on the page. Her vision went beyond the surface. This rocked my world. I looked deeper, longer and explored the hues and saturation of dark area within the photo. Suddenly, I saw what she saw! There was so much more beyond the surface of what I was looking at. Over time, she taught me to look beyond my single minded way of viewing art.
At this point in my life, it is quite an organic vision and feeling I get when looking at the world around me. Nothing is one color. Nothing is black and white. Everything is many colors. Without the range of intensities in colors and the many different shades of colors, the world is not what our Creator intended it to be.
So, when I see the color of my dark skinned sisters hands, I see a tapestry of colors. I see such a unique beauty. I feel a deep love, that celebrates the differences in our skin. I see a gold within her that is indescribable…difficult for me to put to words. I see the differences in our skin and I am overjoyed because of what we create together. When I see the color of my dark skinned brother…I feel respect for him and honor. I feel protected and respected in return. I feel blessed and honored that she and he would choose to be my friend. That she and he would allow me to become a part of that colorful tapestry. I do not see a black and white tapestry.
Did you know that in physics, they do not consider black and white to be colors, because they don’t have a specific wavelength? Did you also know that a color is visible light with a specific wavelength? In color theory, black is the absence of all color (because it is the absence of light) and white is the presence of all colors. Although, when speaking from an art medium, white is typically regarded as the absence of color. Black is made from “all” colors–which is why if you mix a bunch of different colored paints together you get a close to black color. I am not trying to start debate on whether or not black and white are colors, I am simply pointing out, there is more to it than meets the eye. Seeing black and white…SAYING “she’s black”, “I’m white” is not what we should see or say. Are we teaching others around us and those after us, to see all the colors and their purpose, not just black and white? My dark skinned sister is a person OF color. My dark skinned brother is a person OF color. Even though I myself, am not considered a person OF color in this nation, I am a person WITH color. Together, we create a breathtaking tapestry of color. So you see…I SEE COLOR.
Anyone who claims to live in God’s light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark. It’s the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God’s light and doesn’t block the light from others. But whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn’t know which end is up, blinded by the darkness. ~ 1 John 2:9
Please understand, when I say, “I am a person WITH color.” I am not saying that I have experienced the same struggle, hurt, or oppression as my dark skinned sisters and brothers. What I am saying is, I AM WITH MY SISTERS AND BROTHERS OF COLOR. I am also saying, that my Creator did not give us just one shade, just one color, just one wavelength or even just one intensity. Although, He did create us for each other…for unity…for relationship. I am saying, there is more than meets the eye, for all of us. There is a commonality and purpose to our differences. We are not just BLACK AND WHITE. My children would would not refer to or LABEL me as “white” rather they take the opportunity to DESCRIBE me as “peachy”. They would also not refer to all our dark skinned friends as “black” but rather “dark skinned” or “brown.” This was not something my husband and I taught them…this was something that they taught us. I love that they see beyond the labels the world has given us. This is the vision of a child.
Out of the mouths of babes and unweaned infants, you have established strength because of Your foes, that You might silence the enemy and the avenger. ~ Psalm 8:2
You see…I serve a God that is relational and generational. That is how he speaks throughout His Word. Over the years I have learned how He communicates. He uses a language that is woven with those relational and generational threads. He speaks to His people through His tapestry of their legacy…through the generations before. I have learned as well…my tapestry is riddled with a diverse collection of colorful thread and my legacy runs deep. We of color, have that in common. We are all a part of one amazing tapestry. We each have legacy…a great one…and in the end, they will all be woven together to create ONE breathtaking piece.
You see, some of us assume that our legacy will not be revealed for years or that your legacy begins when you die. Not so, it begins when your born. How it is stewarded and the type of legacy you leave is completely in your control. My spiritual momma once told me “All great legacies come with a price tag. To move beyond “mediocrity”, you must invest everyday in the account of those who follow after you!” How are leading those who follow after you? How are you teaching them to see color?
Don’t allow the evil of this horrible act to steal your breath away. BREATHE. I said…YOU BREATHE! HE IS STILL ON THE THRONE! Look around you at the colors that make up this beautiful world. Invest in each other. Look at what you can create together. There is an opportunity to shift the course of the lives we live and those that follow. To continue to build a legacy that will withstand the generations to come. The cost is great but the reward is greater.
When I look at my friends of color…I see the great generations before them. I see colors He has woven in the legacy within them…through the diverse relationships around them. I see a legacy of Love. This does not have to be a generation of tolerance, entitlement and apathy. All lives matter. EVERY.LAST.ONE.
I AM WITH YOU MY SISTERS AND BROTHER OF COLOR!!!
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” ~ Rev. 7:9-12