Controversy: Light Skin vs. Dark Skin within the Black Race
There is a deep, dark secret that some blacks have tried to keep hidden for years. It is that prejudice exists within the race. In our society, dark skin is devalued while lighter skin is valued. Some dark-skinned blacks, on the other hand, feel that light-skinned blacks receive preferential treatment from the white power structure and thus are able to get ahead much more easily. This phenomenon can be traced to the days of slavery when mulattoes -- the offspring of a white parent and a black parent -- were given preferential treatment by the white masters. Sadly in 2013, stereotypes such as these and discrimination within the race still exist and is prevalent in today's society. According to an article in The Grio, “complications of the past still affect the psyche of present-day America.” In other words, the ideas of whites have spread to the black minds over time. This does not occur in just the black community but this issue is common in mainstream America as well. According to the studies of Jermaine Terrell Star, mix-raced people are socially placed below whites, but ahead of blacks. It also shows that black people receive firmer prison sentences than mixed. “The study, which sampled over 12,000 black women imprisoned in North Carolina between 1995 and 2009, showed that light-skinned women were sentenced to 12 percent less time behind bars than their darker-skinned counterparts. The results also showed that having light skin reduces the actual time served by 11 percent.” A 2006 University of Georgia study showed workers with lighter complexions were preferred over darker, regardless of their qualifications. “We found that a light-skinned black male can have only a Bachelor’s degree and typical work experience and still be preferred over a dark-skinned black male with an MBA and past managerial positions,” said Matthew S. Harrison...
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