Color Stratification

Topics: Black people, Human skin color, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 4 (1304 words) Published: August 17, 2011
Color stratification has been a part of American History since the days of slavery. During slavery light skinned Blacks were freed earlier than dark skinned Blacks. These lighter slaves were able to obtain education, better jobs, and property due to their white ties. Research has shown that before and during the 1960’s color stratification was still prevalent but due to Black Pride this thought took a change for the better. Several studies done by Blackwell (1975); Drake and Cayton (1945); Davis, Gardener, and Gardener (1941); Dollard (1957); Frazier (1957a, 1957b, 1966); Myrdal (1944); and Landry (1987) have all stated that in past generations , higher status Blacks tended to have light skin toes than theier lower status darker skin tone counterparts. It is also noted that a lighter skin tone was an important criterion for attaining prestige within the black community. Due to this color stratification relies on racism (race as a biological identity instead of social construct) and colorism (system that privileges lighter tones over darker tones within a community; according to Margaret L. Hunter’s “If You're Light You're Alright": Light Skin Color as Social Capital for Women of Color”. Symbolic interactionism tries to understand stratification by looking at people’s interaction and understandings in their daily lives. Unlike the functionalist and conflict views, it does not try to explain why we have stratification in the first place. Rather, it examines the differences that stratification makes for people’s lifestyles and their interaction with other people. Samuel L. Jackson and Lawrence Fishbourne had this exchange of words in the Spike Lee movie “School Daze”: Leeds (Samuel L. Jackson): Now I bet you niggers do think y'all white. College don't mean shit. Y'all niggers, and you gonna be niggers forever... just like us. Niggers. Dap (Lawrence Fishbourne): You're not niggers.

This scene and this movie shows the color stratification between Blacks by using...
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