KEICHI: I don’t hate her. I’m just ashamed of…! Go on, say it! Sha-ka-ra, Dance Hall Queen! I don’t hate her. I’m just ashamed of…Nonsense! Cut off your wide “w” nose then. Is that why you’re always bleaching and scrubbing your skin? You self-hater! Go buy yourself some love!
It’s interesting to compare how western civilization tackle race compared to actual people of color writers. For example, we saw in the Merchant of Venice how the Prince of Morocco was chastised for his dark skin by Portia, who hopes that no one of his complexion comes to seek her hand in marriage again. There we see a white woman who criticizes a black man for being black. However, in Shakara: Dance Hall Queen, racism isn’t white-skinned vs. dark-skinned, it’s the struggle of wanting to adhere to what the ideal image of beauty is. It’s dark-skinned vs. society. Through this confrontation, we see that Shakara wants to be lighter skinned and has internal racism. It’s her self hate that drives her self destruction. While western plays tend to show simplified versions of racism, I personally think POC writers are able to dive into the effects of a racist society and how that affects the mentality and insecurities of those with darker tones.