Truth About Melanin, Black History & Politics
Neutral information on Melanin seems difficult to come by, but at the end of the day, its safe to say at the most basic level, Melanin is a chemical substance which possesses properties that we can objectively observe and draw conclusions from.
Such an approach to Melanin reveals some interesting things.
Melanin: The Compound
Chemically, melanin is composed of Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen, with the word Melanin being taken from the Greek word Melas for ‘black’ or ‘dark’ which refers to the group of natural amino-acid pigment cells found in most living things.
These Melanin Cells belong to a special group of pigment cells called melanocytes.
The three basic types of melanin are eumelanin, pheomelanin, and neuromelanin.
Eumelanin is the darkest, and is made up of two kinds of melanin, brown eumelanin and black eumelanin.
The Third and lightest form of melanin is Pheomelanin which can never go darker than maroon in colour.
The Brain and Central Nervous System also contain melanin in the form of Neuromelanin which is critical for optimal Brain and Nervous system functions.
Melanin In The Human Body
Melanin appears to be a critical and versatile part of the body’s chemistry necessary to sustain life itself, especially if its role in the Central Nervous System is considered.
In addition to its importance to Brain and nervous system functions like vision, melanocytes also play a role in determining Skin colour or pigmentation.
Melanin & Skin Pigmentation
Eumelanin and Pheomelanin are the determinants of Skin colour or pigmentation.
The specific skin tone produced depends on the person’s DNA.
If the DNA produces Eumelanin, then a person will be between brown and black in Skin tone.
On the other hand, if the DNA produces Pheomelanin, the individual concerned will not be darker than maroon in Skin tone.
It therefore seems that Skin tone is determined not by the quantity of Melanin, but rather the type of Melanin a person’s DNA can produce.
Albinism results from the failure of melanin skin pigmentation cells to bind to the surface of the skin or epidermis.
Important to consider though is that Eumelanin or ‘dark’ Melanin contains a higher concentration of dark Carbon Atoms than Pheomelanin.
As a result of this higher Carbon concentration, the main advantage of possessing Eumelanin is in the absorption of the Sun’s UV Radiation and protection from UV skin damage.
There may possibly be other metabolic advantages that can be derived from this greater conductive capacity of the Sun’s radiation as a source of energy for Biological processes in the Human body.
This possibility can be understood in terms of pure Physics since the more efficient the body is as a receptor of the Sun’s UV rays, the more energy it can harvest to power the body and mind.
The Source Of Melanin
The Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen and Oxygen that make up Melanin like other elements on Earth came from exploded Stars dating all the way to the Big Bang or beginning of the Universe.
Since elements on Earth have been traced to exploding Stars, Melanin as a compound made up of these basic elements is probably a product of the Universe.
Melanin in Black people has been frequently used and almost deified in Black Identity Politics as a special distinguishing characteristic.
If one takes the above into consideration, then what I will call the Melanin Movement appears to be based on elevating the Eumelanin found in darker skinned people to a different status from the Pheomelanin found in lighter skinned people.
It does not seem that the different status given to Eumelanin by the Melanin Movement is linked to any actual metabolic advantages expressing themselves in advances by darker skinned people over lighter skinned people who possess both Pheomelanin and Neuromelanin in such key Anthropological areas as Knowledge or Culture.
Melanin itself is a neutral chemical substance.
The identity politics that have grown and strengthened around it can probably be best understood in Historical terms in an effort to address the negative psychological effects of Slavery and Colonialism rather than in Scientific terms.
Nevertheless, there seems to be an unexplored area concerning the actual Biological, Psychological and Spiritual advantages that can be demonstrated when a Human body is able to raise its metabolic rate because it possesses Eumelanin, and can therefore absorb the Sun’s UV energy more efficiently.
Its possible that these advantages may be explored in Anthropology to account for such things as differences in Cultural aspects like Art and Religion.
This body of knowledge may also have been part of the Ancient Mystery Knowledge of Ancient Egypt.
In spite of all the above, one thing seems reasonably clear and possible, and that is Melanin is part of the Stardust that formed the Universe, the Earth and all Human beings.
Check out and join the Facebook Group where you can contribute posts before you bounce…The Truth About Melanin Documentary below is highly recommended.