Slavery was abolished over 150 years ago though the impact can still be felt on many American families today. Regardless, if your family owned slaves or if your great great great grandmother worked on a plantation slavery is a part of our history. The goal of slave owners was to strip Africans of their identity and make them assimilate to American culture. By doing this the slave population lost unity and adopted to their environment the best way they knew how. Slavery has impacted me because it has created colorism in the black community, therefore; leaving me feeling not a part of my own race or accepted by any other.
In American culture skin color is a signifier of beauty and social status. The preference for lighter skin and European features dates back to the slavery period when darker skin slaves were given field work and the lighter house work. In the 18th century Willie Lynches’ speech in Virginia during 1712 he says "You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves, and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves." this shows the first spark to separating the dark-skinned people vs. the lighter skinned people. This was thought to be the secret to controlling black slaves by setting them against each other. Colorism can be defined as is the dislike of a particular skin color, hair, or appearance within a race. As if racism against blacks wasn’t enough colorism is racism within the black community. Often many people don’t realize how much it truly affects people mentally, physically, and/or emotionally.
I remember noticing colorism affecting me when I finally reached grade school. I was exposed to a diverse group of people who came from various backgrounds. I lived in...
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...family would force them to have separate holidays and celebrations. Slavery has caused blacks and whites to feel as though we can’t come together as one resulting in difficulty for interracial dating.
Skin color was and still one of the biggest dividing factor in the black community. Colorism isn’t something only affects dark skin people, it affects light skin as well. The racism we have as people among ourselves wasn’t created by African Americans it was created by whites. We have been disenfranchised for so many years that we often adopt some of it. Colorism is a problem in the black community because of the lack unity within us. We were forced to come to America. There isn’t an official African American language or tangible aside from our skin color that unities us. Shaming darker skin African Americans has become common to the point it often isn’t recognized.
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