The Origins Of American Colorism During The Antebellum Period And How It Affects The African American Community

1703 Words May 10th, 2016 null Page
Despite the belief that there is not a difference in the treatment or a difference in the way dark-skinned African-Americans are perceived compared to light-skinned African-Americans, it is actually true that dark-skinned African-Americans do not enjoy the same privileges that light-skinned African-Americans do because of colorism. Colorism is the discrimination and or prejudice of one based not strictly on ethnicity but on skin color. In the novel I Am Not Sidney Poitier written by Percival Everett, the main protagonist was a victim of colorism by his girlfriend’s parents. They believed that he was too dark to date their light-skinned daughter. Despite disputing assertions, colorism is a common issue that has had detrimental effects on the psyche of African-American community. In America, the people most harshly affected by colorism are African-Americans. In this essay, I will explain the origins of American colorism during the antebellum period and how it affects the African-American community today. I will also discuss colorism in America’s “post-racial” society and how the many forms of media perpetuate colorism every day.
During the antebellum period in the United States when slavery was at its peak, an ideology called colorism was born. The ideology was bred in response to lighter skinned slaves receiving preferential treatment by plantation owners. Several of the lighter skinned slaves who received the special treatment were half white or mulatto and were the…

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