The Effects and Implications of Colourism

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Colourism, a little word that harnesses pain, as well as confusion amongst many people both of the past and present. This concept is nothing new, it is something that has and is being felt by plenty. It plagues nations and is caused by imperialism, self-hatred, self-degradation, envy, greed, along with lust. It’s fueled by ignorance, stupidity, blindness, unobtainable white beauty standards placed onto unsuspecting people once simply absorbed by their own society, and now compelled to fulfill these standards, which are unobtainable for many.
As topics such as sexism and racism, colourism reaches beyond just one medium. It affects many areas of life as well as hinders the quality of life of those negatively regarded. One of the strongest and most effective ways to implement the ideals of colourism (i.e. “[That] lightening the black physicality is socially acceptable because white skin is the superior and sought after ideal unlike black skin which is inferior.”) is through media. Hip-Hop, which has grown exponentially through the past 20 years, has used it’s great following to pursue spread ideals that have been implemented through the music. Emphasized by the rhetorical analysis written by VaNatta S. Ford; where she keys in on a statement: “There has not been [...] a rhetorical examination of the ways in which colorism impacts rap lyrics”; as well as the rampant destruction of the image of darker skinned women in particular. Time and time again, they lyrics of many superstar in Hip-Hop/Rap, calls the fairer of black women in particular the better. Though this idea of placing lighter people on a pedestal is nothing new, but through this musical movement the classifications of blacks has evolved. Term such as “Red bone” and “Yellow b...

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...t; n*ggers were dirty and loud.”

Works Cited

Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye NYC: Plume/The Penguin Group, 1970

McCarthy-Brown, Nyama. "Dancing in the Margins: Experiences of African American Ballerinas." Journal of African American Studies15.3 (2011): 385+. General OneFile. Web. 18 May 201

Ford, VaNatta S. "Color blocked: a rhetorical analysis of colorism and its impact on rap lyrics in hip hop music from 2005 to 2010."Journal of Pan African Studies 5.1 (2012): 270. Academic OneFile. Web. 18 May 2014.

Charles, Christopher A.D. "The derogatory representations of the skin bleaching products sold in Harlem." Journal of Pan African Studies 4.4 (2011): 117+. Academic OneFile. Web. 18 May 2014.

Banerji, Shilpa. "Study: darker-skinned Black job applicants face more obstacles." Diverse Issues in Higher Education 21 Sept. 2006: 20. General OneFile. Web. 18 May 2014.

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