Light Skin vs. Dark Skin

Topics: Black people, White people, Human skin color Pages: 3 (1126 words) Published: September 30, 2008
A topic that is very dear to me and strikes me is African-Americans not embracing their self as a whole. Ever since the early days of slavery, many people have felt that their skin color is ugly. Time after time after time, white people perception of superiority and desecration of the Africans skin color has made for people to dismiss themselves as beautiful. When something is black, it is dirty and has negative connotation and for white people to call us that over four centuries, we start to believe it. In the times of slavery the slave master being in control would often have relationships with his female slaves due to the curvier features over white women. As a result mulatto children were born. A prime and famous example of this is Thomas Jefferson’s affair with Sally Hemming. Jefferson fathered children by both his wife and Hemming. The term mulatto was derived in the 16th from Spain ( Native Americans and blacks often mated together and created blacks with straight hair. Mulattoes had more advantages than Africans or blacks from the start. Although still black, the lighter skin was a preference to the slave master that would go on for centuries to come. Interracial slaves were able to work in the kitchen and not take on strenuous jobs such as darker slaves. Lighter skinned slaves often gained freedom quicker than their darker counterparts, but slaves took the status of their mother who was most often a slave.

There have in fact been accounts where a white woman and slave man courted and produced a child. That child did in fact inherit its mother’s status and was automatically granted freedom. Other accounts of mulatto advantage were that they could inherit and in fact own the inherited land. Newly freed slaves in 1867 were denied land ownership most ex-slaves were impressed into contract labor gangs on plantations under the notorious Black Codes adopted by most state governments (Barnes 4).

Oppression still plagued black people...

Cited: • Faigman, David L. Laboratory of Justice. (New York: Times Books, 2004) p.197
• Brown, James, with Bruce Tucker. James Brown: The Godfather of Soul (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company,1986), 200.
• Cottman H., Michael. "No Surprise - Skin Tone Study Reveals Preference for Light-Skinned Employees." Black News 26 09 2006 1-3. 1 April 2008 .
• "W. E. B. Du Bois," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2007 © 1997-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
• “The Black Arts Movement”
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