Intraracial Discrimination in Mary Mebane´s Shades of Black Essay examples

Intraracial Discrimination in Mary Mebane´s Shades of Black Essay examples

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Within the Black Community there are a myriad of stigmas. In Mary Mebane’s essay, “Shades of Black”, she explores her experiences with and opinions of intraracial discrimination, namely the stigmas attached to women, darker skinned women, and blacks of the working class. From her experiences Mebane asserts that the younger generation, those that flourished under and after the Civil Rights Movement, would be free from discriminating attitudes that ruled the earlier generations. Mebane’s opinion of a younger generation was based on the attitudes of many college students during the 1960’s (pars.22), a time where embracing the African culture and promoting the equality of all people were popular ideals among many young people. However, intraracial discrimination has not completely vanished. Many Blacks do not identify the subtle discriminatory undertones attached to the stigmas associated with certain types of Black people, such as poor black people, lighter/darker complexion black people, and the “stereotypical” black man/woman. For many black Americans aged eighteen to twenty-five, discrimination based on skin color, social class, and gender can be blatant.
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...

... middle of paper ... in the Atlanta University Center, can generally assess that a person is from a low income, or inner city, neighborhood based on how they behave. Solely because of the behavior associated with people from inner city and low-income environments those students are discriminated against.
A major offense of which many college students are guilty of is assuming that a person is less intelligent based on the fact that they exhibit behavior . For example, in one of my classes at Clark Atlanta many of the students in the class feel that a particular student is unintelligent and not serious about college because he is loud and brash; two behaviors associated with some people from low income communities. Whether this student is from a poorer family is unclear, but because he exhibits behaviors similar to what black students have associated with undesirable poorer people.

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