Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 15, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971966 | Print ISBN: 9781412940504 | Online ISBN: 9781412971966| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Racism inside the Race: Light Skin versus Dark Skin
Vivian Gunn Morris & Curtis L. Morris
The term colorism is used to describe discrimination within a racial group based primarily on skin hue or color and may also include other physical characteristics such as hair texture and eye color. In the United States and in other countries around the world, the practice of colorism, based within a framework of racism, shows preferences for light skin over darker skin within a community of color. People whose physical features of skin color, hair texture, and eye color are closest to the European standards of beauty are more likely to be afforded greater educational, economic, and social status than their brown- to dark-skinned brothers and sisters. Colorism among African Americans has its origin in the U.S. enslavement period when enslavers mated with enslaved Africans. The lighter-skinned children of these unions were more likely to be enslaved in the household, while the dark-skinned enslaved Africans worked in the fields. Some ...