Taye Diggs and Colorism: Black Men Are Affected By Intra-race Prejudices, Too

Earlier this week, MyBrownBaby contributor Nick Chiles interviewed Taye Diggs about colorism, self-esteem and his new children’s book, “Chocolate Me!”—a post that received widespread coverage across the black media spectrum. While we weren’t surprised by the fascination with Diggs’ revelations or the negative reactions spurred by his personal reflections, Nick was astounded to find that people didn’t know men are as affected by colorism as women—as he notes in a new piece on PopularCritic.com:

Taye Diggs pried open a can of worms when he said that he still had self-esteem issues well into adulthood because of his dark skin. In a piece I wrote for MyBrownBaby.com, Taye said it wasn’t until he read a magazine article calling Tyson Beckford “beautiful” did he begin to think differently about himself.

“When I saw Tyson Beckford hailed as this beautiful man by all people, that caused a shift in my being. I remember literally waking up and walking the streets the next day and, because I had a bald head as well, feeling a little bit more proud,” said Diggs in our interview.

As I read through various posts and reactions to this story that I originally wrote to help Taye publicize his new book, Chocolate Me!, they seemed to have a similar spin: There was widespread surprise that a dark-skinned brother, especially a heartthrob like Taye, could ever have self-esteem issues related to skin color—as if the same dominant culture that has feasted on the psyches of black women for 300 years hasn’t also been doing its destructive dance through the brains of black men over the same time period. While black men may not buy skin bleaching creams like dark women are still doing around the world, or we may not pop blue contact lenses in our eyes, we still demonstrate many manifestations of our scars, if you look closely enough…

Read the rest of Nick’s essay, Taye Diggs Reveals Black Men Are Scarred By Colorism, on PopularCritic.com. 


1. Why White Parents Should Teach Their Children About Race
2. Taye Diggs Says Fatherhood Is A Little Scary—But Easy and Romantic
3. Fatherhood: Tray Chaney Of “The Wire” Celebrates Dedicated Black Dads In His New Video
4.We Need More Black Children’s Books On Borders’s Bookshelves NOW. 

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. I can’t believe this punk. Taye needs to just STFU with this bull. Sadly, he’s not happy in the skin he’s in. The skin God gave him wasn’t good enough until Tyson validated him. Boy please.

  2. Why wouldn’t black men be as affected by “colorism” as black women? Anything involving the acceptance of black people would be something felt across the board. I doubt there are too many people that didn’t know that. Those people who astonished your colleague may not be terribly informed or aware.

  3. I’m impressed that he has admitted to the impact on his self-esteem but am saddened that we are still having this conversation.

  4. taye diggs, give me a break, already. what do little black girls think when they see his wife? he doesnt give two dead flies about this issue, he is just exploiting it.

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