Color Complex

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The “Color Complex” and It’s Persisting Effects on the Black Community As African Americans came to the United States the “color complex” was implemented upon them by their white captors. The “color complex” became a means for which white slave owners could divide and conquer their black slaves. With black slaves outnumbering whites on many southern colonies as well as in many of the Caribbean islands, such as Haiti, whites realized that they needed to divide their captors against each other. Through this system of separation based on color and physical features, white conquerors were able to impose on Blacks throughout the New World a “color complex” which plagues Blacks, especially in the United States, to this day. In this paper the full definition of the “color complex” as it affects the Black community will be given alongside a historical analysis that chronicles the “color complex” from its racist beginnings through to its effects on Blacks in the modern American context. In looking at examples from modern America it will be shown how some groups are able to profit at the others expense, as well as other tensions caused by the color complex in the African American community. Finally, this paper will analyze the effects of the “color complex” within media, especially with regards to the socialization process within the Black community, providing possible solutions to the perpetuation of the color complex. The definition of the “color complex” has often changed throughout the history of Blacks being in the Americas. It is one of the longstanding effects of slavery that is still tangible within the Black community. The current definition is a feeling or attitude African Americans have about their skin color as well as physical features, such as hair as well as shape of nose and lips. However, to fully comprehend the effects of the color complex on the modern Black community a full understanding of the origins of the color complex is required. One...
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