Colourism And Racism

2558 Words 11 Pages
Racism, discrimination, and oppression have been ongoing conflicts in the world for centuries. Racism, discrimination, and oppression all connect to an intolerance of a certain culture, ethnicity, or race other than oneself. Unfortunately, there is an intolerance for one’s own culture, ethnicity, and race and that intolerance is identified as colourism. Colourism, prejudice or discrimination based on the relative lightness or darkness of the skin, has birthed these manifesting ideas of hate and distaste for individuals who lack the certain ‘physical requirements’ to be accepted and tolerated. This, in fact, has caused a ‘blind divergence’ internally and externally for the individuals being affected by this ongoing problem. People are often …show more content…
Colourism was used to employ certain individuals to certain jobs. For example, African American slaves who had a lighter complexion took to work in the plantation house whereas darker African American slaves took to fieldwork and other hard labor. This idea of advantage of the lighter African Americans relates to Malcolm Gladwell’s theory of opportunity being merely based off of advantage or meritocracy. In a way, the lighter African American’s are an allusion of this meritocracy because they were given the opportunity to live a life that almost reflected the way of how the White Americans lived. Due to the fact that lighter African Americans were accustomed to a ‘better’ way of living the image in society was engraved by their opportunities and how they took advantage of those opportunities. In reality, darker African American’s never had an advantage or the opportunity to say that they were just as qualified as the lighter African Americans because they were never given the chance in an oppressive society. Slavery is the root of …show more content…
The paper-bag test is a test that ‘determines’ if one is beautiful or ugly. If one is lighter than a brown paper bag they are considered beautiful. If one is darker than a brown paper bag they are considered unattractive or ugly. In “Dark Girls” documentary, actress Viola Davis recalls being called ‘black ugly nigga’ by both white and black children. Actress Viola Davis was a young girl at the time of this incident. Viola Davis often talks about how society’s perspective on beautification impacted young girls or young boys. Viola Davis states in Dark Girls documentary that she was often confused as a child on what made her worthy to society because people from other races discouraged her and people from her own race discouraged her. A child’s perspective is an allusion that connects well to Viola Davis’ anecdote. A child will often connect darkness to anything negative whether it is villains or nighttime terror and lightness with the relief of daytime and happiness. In Native Son by Richard Wright, media plays an essential part in how Bigger is portrayed to society when the newspaper says “I think it but proper to inform you that in many quarters it is believed that Thomas, despite his dead-black complexion, may have a minor portion of white blood in his veins, a mixture which generally makes for a criminal and intractable nature” (3.40-58). Social media also plays an

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