Actor Taye Diggs is the future baby daddy of many women who watch him on screen, and for many of them it’s becuase of his looks and his chocolate skin. According to him, he was not very comfortable with his skin colour though and strugled not just in the sense of being a black man, but being a dark-skinned one at that. It took another famous face with similar complexion to help him build his confidence. Taye tells MyBrownBaby.com:
“When I saw Tyson Beckford hailed as this beautiful man by all people, that caused a shift in my being. And I remember literally waking up and walking the streets feeling a little bit more proud.”
Taye also shared his thoughts on colourism:
At five-years-old, none of us knew the can of worms we were opening… the little white kids who were making fun of me, they didn’t know. Their whole questioning was coming from the fact that I was different. None of them ever used the N word or negro. They just knew, “ok, his skin is brown, my skin is white, his skin is white, his skin is white, let’s make fun of him.” It wasn’t even in a nasty way at 5. But I obviously didn’t take it well. And then the older you get, once that understanding came, then that was a whole different issue. Then you have to deal with serious self-reflection. My mother was very fair skin and my dad was dark. And back in my mother’s day, she was seeking out the dark men because she didn’t feel black enough. So it’s a continuing issue. We’ve come a long way, but I don’t think we’re fully over it as a society.
He also spoke raising his mixed-race son Walker Nathaniel Diggs. Taye and his wife, actress Idina Menzel welcomed him into the world on September 2nd 2009:
Me and my wife, we discuss this and we’re still trying to figure some of this out just with Walker and what he should call himself and how he views himself. When I was growing up if you were half a shade darker than white, the white people would not accept you. You weren’t white. These days, thank God, people are a little bit more accepting and people’s views are broadening and it’s not as accepted to just choose one, how you might have been forced to in the past. I think it depends on the parents’ perspective and how they feel about those issues and how they kind of want to pass that down to their child. As proud as I am of my blackness, I think it’s important to show Walker that he should be just as proud of his Jewish mother and all of the culture that that includes as well.
Diggs recently published a children’s book titled Chocolate Me to help kids become comfortable with who they are and what they look like.
Read the full interview at MyBrownBaby.com