Speculated History of Colorism

Colorism has affected several generations of African American men and women. It is argued that this ranges as far back as the 1700’s with the influence of Willie Lynch. Depending on who you are talking to, the tension is the idea that the “whiter” you are the better you are treated or will have more chances being successful.

Akira X. Roberson, a blogger on The Final Call, goes into further detail in her article. Another blogger, Elica Zadeh from The Voice also mentions the origin of this notion being started as far back as slavery times in America. Regarding these articles, it can be speculated that the current issue of Colorism, and the global phenomena of people making their features more Eurocentric, may be connected to the suggestions Willie Lynch made. The notion of this “rift” has affected the minds of many slaves in Lynch’s time, their descendants and has evolved in how it affects the minds of many African Americans in contemporary times.

This issue doesn’t affect all African Americans, of course. In the “debate” of Light Skin vs Dark Skin, many argue that it doesn’t matter. As Nouvelle Noir Goddess, another blogger for Patheos stated in her article, “Mom is mom and Dad is dad: as a family, we are all Black”. Many push back on the notion and some are simply not affected. Below are the articles if interested.

Light Skin Vs. Dark Skin: Breaking the Mental Chains – Akira X. Roberson

Light Skin vs. Dark Skin: The Great Debate – B. Couleur

Light Skin V Dark Skin: Where It All Started – Elica Zadeh

Demystifying the Dark vs. Sight Skin Culture – Nouvelle Noir Goddess


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Artist and Business Professional working to build a stronger community for the Arts.

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