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AAS 465 Colorism
Transcript of AAS 465 Colorism
African-American Studies 465
Look it up!
The prejudiced attitudes/treatment of people based on the lightness or darkness of their skin, normally by others in the same ethnicity or culture.
An old children's nursery rhyme
“If you’re black, stay back;
if you’re brown, stick around;
if you’re yellow, you’re mellow;
if you’re white, you’re all right.”
Looks can be deceiving
While colorism is a relatively new word created by Alice Walker in 1982, colorism has been around since the 17th century in New Spain.
Rewind the time!
Colorism is the result of the system white supremacy
(belief that whites are superior than other races and should therefore dominate society)
“Every black person, at one point or another, has questioned their love for their skin when the sun comes out and makes them darker.”
William Lynch's letter to the Virginia colony
"In my bag here, I HAVE A FULL PROOF METHOD FOR CONTROLLING YOUR BLACK SLAVES...IT WILL CONTROL THE SLAVES FOR AT LEAST 300 HUNDREDS YEARS. My method is simple... I HAVE OUTLINED A NUMBER OF DIFFERENCES AMONG THE SLAVES; AND I TAKE THESE DIFFERENCES AND MAKE THEM BIGGER. I USE FEAR, DISTRUST AND ENVY FOR CONTROL PURPOSES...The Black slaves after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for HUNDREDS of years, maybe THOUSANDS... You must use the DARK skin slaves vs. the LIGHT skin slaves... But it is NECESSARY THAT YOUR SLAVES TRUST AND DEPEND ON US. THEY MUST LOVE, RESPECT AND TRUST ONLY US. Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control...Thank you gentlemen.”
World Standard of Beauty
From Asia to Africa, the world has developed a "standard" for beauty; lighter, more fair skin has become a more desired quality among people, for both men and women
"One whiteness can cover three
kinds of ugliness."
- Chinese Proverb
Skin Bleaching: preference or problem?
Reasons people bleach their skin:
" Bleachers want to be accepted within their circle of society. They want to be attractive to the opposite sex. They want career opportunities."
- Lewis-Fuller, Jamaican Ministry's Director of Health
" I've been black and dark-skinned for many years, I wanted to see the other side. I wanted to see what it would be like to be white and I'm happy."
- Nomasonto Mnisi, South African local musician
" Lighter-skinned woman are considered more beautiful, are believed to be more successful and more likely to find marriage."
- Pumza Fihlani, BBC News Johannesburg
The Black Community
+ Colorism has effected social relationships black people have amongst each other
Paper Bag Parties
Dark Men and Light Women
Who is Black????
BLACK GIRLS ROCK
Founded in 2006
“Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”
Healing the Scars
MY BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL
The answer may surprise you
Promoting Positive Images
Colorism and Relations in the Black Community
In a 2002 article, “Race and the Politics of Personal Relationships: Focus on Black Canadian Women,” Evangelia Tastsoglou, explains how it’s not surprising that some blacks have adopted “society’s color complex” because of all the racism, white supremacy, and stereotypes that saturate everyday culture.
Common Issues with Stereotypes
What is "Beauty" and who defines it ?
-Dark Girls, A Girl Like Me,
Light Bright Damn Near White
Dark skinner toned people are perceived to be stronger yet bitter.
Lighter skinned toned are perceived to be more emotional and stuck up.
Researchers at Villanova University compared skin color and sentencing patterns of over 12,000 African American women in North Carolina prisons and found that light skinned Black women received shorter sentences than dark skinned Black women;
A 2006 study published by the Association of Psychological Science found that the more “stereotypically Black” a defendant is perceived to be (and dark skin color was one of these characteristics), the more likely that person was sentenced to death;
The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) and the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) have recognized hiring, firing or promotion based on the shade of one’s skin as a form of discrimination that is eligible for legal redress or compensation.
Facts About The Effects of Colorism
"Light skinned men are too soft, too emotional."
"Light skinned people are more polite, and more educated."
"Light skin men can't fight or protect themselves"
"Light skin women are more unfaithful; most are just gold diggers"
"Light skinned women have 'good' hair"
"Dark skinned men all have prison records"
Dark skinned men are 'real n*****'"
"Dark skinned women are ugly"
"Lighter skinned people get more, and better jobs"
"If you are dark, you should date lighter skinned blacks"
"Dark skinned women can't get married"
Does the color of your skin effect your success?