Colorism: Black People and Skin Color

Topics: Black people, African American, Race Pages: 2 (799 words) Published: November 5, 2009
Growing up as a youth being in an interracial family, I always experienced prejudice whether it was inside my home or out on the street. My father was an African-American, his family was accepting but all could see that they praised the fact that my skin was 5-6 shades lighter than that of my other cousins. This of course caused unresolved issues, issues that couldn’t and wouldn’t be talked about among us as children, but later on became deep conversation filled with tears and understanding because we were finally able to get from under the stigma that our parents were engulfed in because their parents had subjected them to the same treatment. While on the other hand, my mother’s side of the family is Irish, German, and Indian. They despised the fact that my father was an African-American man. I would hear my mother’s mother talk badly of my father. She even went as far as not to allow my father in her home. She was the hardest on me out of all the grand children when it came to disciplining us, because my father’s skin tone was that of a black man. They also tended to favor my mother’s eldest daughter because her father wasn’t an African-American. As a child growing up I experienced both positive and negative feedback for my skin color. But I must say that it was about 85% positive when not in the presence of my mother’s mother. Note I don’t say grandmother because she was hardly ever a grandmother toward s me, just because my skin color was that of a black girl, while my cousins were mostly fair skinned. Colorism in the United States is a stigma that won’t get lifted because of what slavery has embedded in the minds of African-Americans. According to, Colorism is defined as a "Black-on-Black racism, based on skin-tone." The discrimination is based on the idea that a person's worth is directly related to the color of his or her skin, valuing lighter tones over darker tones. It's commonly known that Colorism plagued the Black community after...

Cited: "Colorism." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 1 Nov 2009, 22:52 UTC. 2 Nov 2009 .
Wilson, Midge, Russell Kathy. The Color Complex: The Politics of Skin Color Among African Americans. New York: Harcourt Publishers, 1992.
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