I Am Not Sidney Poitier Essay

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Colorism is the discrimination and or prejudice of one based not strictly on ethnicity but on skin color. Despite the belief that colorism does not exist in “post racial” America, it is actually true that colorism still exists in America today. In the novel I AM NOT Sidney Poitier by Percival Everett the main protagonist was a victim of colorism by his girlfriend’s parents. They believed he was too dark to date their light-skinned daughter. Despite disputing assertions, this blatant prejudice is not an uncommon issue. Even across cultures, dark-skinned individuals are often met with prejudice and oppression by their light-skinned counterparts. This is due to the racist ideals spread throughout European colonization. In America, the people most harshly affected by colorism are dark-skinned African-Americans. In this essay, I will explain the origins of American colorism in the African-American community. I will discuss colorism in America’s “post-racial” society and how the media perpetuates it. Finally, I will explain how colorism affects the psyche of dark skinned women specifically.
During the antebellum period in the United States when slavery was at its peak a dogma called colorism was born. This dogma was bred in response to lighter skinned slaves receiving preferential treatment by slave owners, strictly because of their skin color. Many of these lighter skinned slaves were half white or mulatto and were the plantation owner’s children. Because of the preferential…

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