Light Skin, The Right Skin Essay

1698 words - 7 pages

Light Skin the Right Skin
Colorism is a form of discrimination based on the color of someone’s skin tone. Colorism has the greatest impact on the African American culture and community. It is sad that we have to face discrimination within our own ethnic group, Along with every other ethnic group in the United States. Colorism has been passed down generation after generation. It is dated all the way back to the slavery dates. The idea of light skin being better than dark skin has been deeply rooted in our culture. We see colorism in our everyday life on social network, in our workplace, school, and relationship. We don’t even recognize it because we are unfamiliar of the word colorism and its meaning. So we ignore the fact that people are being treated different in their own race because of the shade of their skin. People are taught colorism growing up informally and don’t realize the effect it has on our culture, because we see it as normal and we were brainwashed to think that. Colorism is an issue amongst African Americans that is slowly tearing down the culture as it has been for centuries and still is today.
“I have a foolproof method for controlling your black slaves…it will control the slaves for at least 300 years…I take these differences and make them bigger…you must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves. William Lynch 1712¹.” During the time of slavery African Americans were segregated by their white masters based on the color of their skin color. I found out that there were two kinds of slave’s back in the days, the house slaves and the field slaves. Most of the field slaves would have a darker skin tone and would be the ones working outside picking cotton all day long. The house slaves had lighter skin, and lived inside the house with the master and his family. Their job was to do house work such as cooking and cleaning. I learned that there was envy amongst the house slaves and the field slaves. The dark skinned slaves didn’t feel worthy, and they felt lest than the lighter skinned slaves. They didn’t view them as being a part of the black community. They saw them as traitors. According to Marita Golden, “For lighter-skinned African-Americans, they are often also deemed not quite black enough in the eyes of other black people. They are often unfairly viewed as being objects of suspicion, people who have divided loyalties, people who don't know what it really is to be black”. The reason being is that slave masters were more tolerant to light-skinned slaves because they were often family members. Slave masters would often rape slave women, and light-skinned children were a result of that. Still slave master did not consider their children from the slave women as their blood children, they did give them special privileges that dark-skinned slaves could not have. Light skin came to be viewed as Better amongst the slave community. The goal of this was to keep the enslaved...

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