Skin color is a polemical and highly evaluated physical attribute (Kim,2014) within the black community, as it influences their economic attainment (Goldsmith, Hamilton, & Darity,2006), mate selection (Hill,2002), litigation (Blair, Judd, & Chapleau, 2004). Furthermore, the skin color of African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans has exerted influences on racial socialization, black stratification patterns, and societal attitudes towards the treatment of light skinned and dark-skinned blacks within their communities. Skin tone stratification and has been historically ingrained in the black community for many generations. During the era of slavery, skin-tone stratification had a continuing impact on the black community as lighter skinned African …show more content…
“Skin tone bias is the tendency to perceive or behave toward members of a racial category based on the lightness or darkness of their skin tone. … this phenomenon also has been referred to as ‘colorism’ (Maddox & Gray,2002).” This term highlights the fact that colorism is a manifestation of a larger system of racial discrimination that has been ingrained in the black community. As it is firmly established in the omnipresent European colonial structure that places emphasis on White aesthetics such as a lighter skin tone and small features. Therefore, the blacks used White physicality as the ideal standard and this Eurocentric thinking perceives light skin and other shades of brown as being superior to dark skin. This hierarchical divide continually stimulates discord, discrimination, and cultural disconnects between Black individuals within the Black American & Caribbean community. The conception of colorism has a pejorative connotation (M. Hunter,2007) that operates both interracially and intraracially. “Intraracial colorism occurs when a member of one racial group makes a distinction based upon skin color between members of her own race. Interracial colorism …show more content…
‘Am I who I say I am?’ is a question of achieving congruence in assessing how our spiritual, cognitive, affective, and behavioral dimensions align with our self-definition. ‘Am I all I ought to be?’ is a question of self-actualization where one seeks to achieve the fullest expression of all one is supposed to become (Parham, White, Ajamu, 2000, p.42).
It is essential that Blacks develop a healthy racial identity to counterbalance the historical racist and discriminatory societal conditions they have endured (Sellers, Smith, Shelton, Rowley, & Chavous, 1998). Blacks who have a strong racial identity can understand the uniqueness of self and invoke racial connotation of subtle interpersonal cues within the community.
Scholars have discovered that even though skin color only influence an individual’s social, economic, and cultural characteristics it is essentially irrelevant to the political views of Blacks. In her book, “The Vanishing Black African Woman: Volume Two: A Compendium of the Global Skin-Lightening Practice author Yetunde Mercy Olumide defines skin color
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Colorism in the United States is a result of the history of people being discriminated based upon one’s skin tone. For many years, the European standard of beauty has been set forth and pushed upon mainly young men and women of many backgrounds
Based on the title of the book alone, it is easy to say that racism is one of the many social issues this book will address. Unlike the normal racism of Caucasians versus African Americans, this book focuses on racism of the black elite versus African Americans, also known as colorism. Colorism is the discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically by others of the same racial group. Margo Jefferson says, “Negroland is my name for a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty” (p. 1).
The discrimination observed by Mebane against darker complexion black women is still evident in the current generation of black college students. Darker women are considered by some to be unattractive and lighter toned women are considered more attractive. These beliefs have been carried over through generations from the times of segregation and slavery. During slavery lighter toned slaves were treated better than darker skin slaves by being allowed to live and work in the plantation house instead of the fields. Having a lighter complexion started to become associated with havi...
Social and financial status have been the safety net or “go to” protection for African American people for many years back, leading one to assume education and an affluent life style could become a shield of protection over the black body. However, society has proven that your safety net ends where your skin begins. No matter how rich or established a person is, the fact will remain that they are black. Ta- Nehisi Coates describes his life growing up the ghettos of Baltimore. Throughout his book, Ta-Nehisi Coates repeatedly emphasizes that growing up his, “highest priority was the simple security of my body,” (p.130) Then he goes on to describe how his wife grew up in a more affluent and privileged lifestyle, a lifestyle that
It’s not as apparent as it was in the twentieth century, but it’s still surfaced. For example, in the journal The Persistent Problem of Colorism: Skin Tone, Status, and Inequality by Margaret Hunter, she really analyzed what colorism means in difference ethnicities. With Africans Americans Hunter says “lighter-skinned people of color enjoy substantial privileges that are still unattainable to their darker-skinned brothers and sisters. In fact, light-skinned people earn more money, complete more years of schooling, live in better neighborhoods, and marry higher-status people than darker-skinned people of the same race or ethnicity (Hunter 237). Hunter goes on to explain more in depth about how colorism works and what it is as well as the stereotypes that go with it. For example many people think that colorism is only a ‘black or Latino problem’ when it all started with whites and people with similar color (Hunter 238). As an African American myself and being a part of the “darker skinned” category I have always had struggles since I was a young age. I have always noticed other girls were like me, but of a lighter tone, but it’s never changed the way I think about them or was never really apparent when I was young. Things started to change when was in middle and high school. I noticed a difference in the way males looked at African American women of darker tone. There was already an issue with
Many may agree with the old saying that “beauty is only skin deep,” but does beauty come in a particular shade of color? This question is very debatable for many, but the fact of the matter is that human beings are born in array of skin tones. These differences in skin tone are used to categorize people into different ethnic groups. Lopez proposes that“ethnic identity is a type of group identity that is related to a better outcome because it provides a sense of belonging or cultural embeddedness.”(p.102) Dr. Ronald Hall (2006) suggests that in America minorities or people of color are called black in relative terms to the majority who are of European descent i.e. white. Some studies have discovered that a more “ethnic appearance” is usually assessed by a darker skin color i.e, black and is associated with a worse outcome in life (Lopez, 2008) In contrast, beauty, wealth and overall appeal are associated with physiological proximity to the white power structure i.e., light skin. (Hall, 2006) It appears as though desirable skin complexions are culturally relative.
Colorism is a form of discrimination based on the color of someone’s skin tone. Colorism has the greatest impact on the African American culture and community. It is sad that we have to face discrimination within our own ethnic group, Along with every other ethnic group in the United States. Colorism has been passed down generation after generation. It is dated all the way back to the slavery dates. The idea of light skin being better than dark skin has been deeply rooted in our culture. We see colorism in our everyday life on social network, in our workplace, school, and relationship. We don’t even recognize it because we are unfamiliar of the word colorism and its meaning. So we ignore the fact that people are being treated different in their own race because of the shade of their skin. People are taught colorism growing up informally and don’t realize the effect it has on our culture, because we see it as normal and we were brainwashed to think that. Colorism is an issue amongst African Americans that is slowly tearing down the culture as it has been for centuries and still is today.
In the essay “Mixed-Blood Stew”, Jewell Parker Rhodes describes her mixed colored lineage and the penetrable makeup of all people along the color line. Rhodes recounts her childhood and shows how her family acknowledge each other of being more than just black and talk of all the race their blood consists of. She argues how people sees a black person; as black. She explains that black is not just black. Richard Rodriguez, author of “Blaxicans and Other Reinvented Americans” talks about how racial classifications, e.g. black, white, Hispanic, etc. should be discarded for they misrepresent the cultural and ethnic realities of today’s America (140). Rodriguez explains how culture has nothing to do with race and how certain labels (black, Hispanic)
“Black, white and brown are merely skin colors. But we attach to them meanings and assumptions, even laws that create enduring social inequality.”(Adelman and Smith 2003). When I first heard this quote in this film, I was not surprised about it. Each human is unique compared to the other; however, we are group together based on uncontrollable physical characteristics. Eyes, hair texture, and skin tone became a way to separate who belongs where. Each group was labeled as having the same traits. African Americans were physically superior, Asians were the more intellectual race, and Indians were the advanced farmers. Certain races became superior to the next and society shaped their hierarchy on what genes you inherited.
Over the years, research shows that lighter African American have had a higher level of attainment, shaping there social and economic stratification. Many blacks of lighter skin tone have had an advantage...
The Association of Black Psychologist (ABP) (2013) defines colorism as skin-color stratification. Colorism is described as “internalized racism” that is perceived to be a way of life for the group that it is accepted by (ABP 2013). Moreover, colorism is classified as a persistent problem within Black American. Colorism in the process of discriminatory privileges given to lighter-skinned individuals of color over their darker- skinned counterparts (Margret Hunter 2007). From a historical standpoint, colorism was a white constructed policy in order to create dissention among their slaves as to maintain order or obedience. Over the centuries, it seems that the original purpose of colorism remains. Why has this issue persisted? Blacks have been able to dismantle the barriers faced within the larger society of the United States. Yet, Blacks have failed to properly address the sins of the past within the ethnic group. As a consequence of this failure, colorism prevails. Through my research, I developed many questions: Is it right that this view remain? How does valuing an individual over another cause distribution to the mental health of the victims of colorism? More importantly, what are the solutions for colorism? Colorism, unfortunately, has had a persisted effect on the lives of Black Americans. It has become so internalized that one cannot differentiate between the view of ourselves that Black Americans adopted from slavery or a more personalized view developed from within the ethnicity. The consequences of this internalized view heightens the already exorbitant mental health concerns within the Black community, but the most unfortunate aspect of colorism is that there is contention on how the issue should be solved.
Race conscientiousness is present in today’s society, many harbor negative feelings towards African Americans on an unconscious level, which can have a negative impact on the mental health of the person who are victims of this discriminatory behavior. The unintentional expression of anti-black feelings is projected on to blacks as fear or discomfort with their presence. According to Gaertner and Dovidio, two psychology professors, proposed “the biased judgments against African Americans result of childhood socialization of the dominant racial biases in society and from the typical way in which individuals categorize people into social groups rather than expend limited cognitive resources to judge each person individually” (Levin 2). I
Therefore Black Consciousness’ main belief was, that racial domination had become internalized, thus causing low self-esteem, which in turn allowed room for political disunity and encouraged a dependence on white leadership. The philosophy of Black Consciousness was to break this set of attitudes and form a new belief in black self-reliance and dignity. It was only when this was achieved could black the man truly be liberated both physically and mentally. The Black Consciousness philosophy was an agenda for ideological realignment and political revitalization, which could rebuild and recondition the mind of the oppressed. This ideology brought a new sophistication and insight into the analysis of African psychology.