Colorism is a psychological battle within the black community. Colorism or shadeism can be practiced interracially or intraracial. Affecting people in the same community and people in the same race. People of a lighter skin tone are treated more favorably than those with a darker skin tone, known as light skin privilege. Being a black women and growing up in a predominantly black community I have experienced colorism.
This form of racism dates to slavery and has been passed through various elements of our culture. Since the American slavery, darker skinned African Americans have always received harsher treatment than those of lighter complexion. Differences in skin color,
In this new integrated society, colorism has the greatest impact on the African American culture and community. People of color are discriminating against each other due to the fact of their skin complexion. Colorism is a major problem in society and the black community. This vicious system privileges light skinned people of color over dark skinned people in such areas as beauty standards in mass media, self-esteem in social media and education. Passed through generation after generation, it has been taught that light skinned has been the right skin since the 1600’s pre-slavery.
The concept of Blackness or black skin was used for both external and internal characteristics of a “black group” or “race”. Blackness is defined in the “Critical Perspectives on Bell Hook” by Arnold Farr as “the social construction of essentialist racial identities is oppressive and dehumanizing for people of African descent.” According to Farr, the essentialist racial identity is intensified by the system of white supremacy and maintained and perpetuated by blacks who are victims of racial essentialism. Bell Hooks urges, that” racial identity must be deconstructed and calls for a deconstruction of race and post-modern blackness as a way blacks asserting emancipation from white supremacy.” When race is deconstructed it enables anti hegemonic groups to be developed that confronts hegemony or dominant white supremacy. The reason for deconstruction is show that things refuse to conform to the static definitions given. In terms of race, racial essentialism tries to create fixed racial identities that robs or takes away the agency of black people.
While Black culture contributed to the culture of the United States of America Caribbean popular culture is and has always been the channel used to dispute the dominant group’s efforts at restricting the celebrations of the enslaved on the Caribbean islands in late 1800 and early 1900. For the purpose of this essay, Trinidad Carnival will be the focus of this discourse. Trinidad Carnival origins are wedged in the 18th centuary French extravagant masquerade balls at Christmas and before the Catholic Lenten season as well as the African and Indian religious celebrations, rituals, customs and beliefs. The limited geographical area, subordinate status and unequal treatment encouraged a form of cultural relativism necessary for Africans enslaved and Indian indenture servants to established their ancestors culture’s worth and equal value. The term Microculture is new, still it illuminates the growth of the Africans enslaved and Indian indenture servants’ distinctive culture of the Caribbean.
There is no doubt the scourge of racism is a black eye for the beacon of hope and light, which the US is supposed to represent. For far too long most of our citizens have been complacent with the status quo. Racism has grown as part of the very fabric of this country. Ideas of race and ideologies of superiority were state sponsored and fundamental to history and structure of the United States. From the slave trade, voter suppression, lynching, segregation, and human rights violations, the list is long and dirty of the atrocities minorities have endured while under the thumb of the US government.
The world has never been closer than as it is in the 21st century. We are supposedly said to be moving away from our roots and living together in a world adopting new cultures, where our race or color do not define who we are. Michael Omi, however, disagrees with this impression and believes that, “racism is pervasive feature in our lives” (Omi 538). He says that it is implicit and conveyed in an ‘invisible’ manner. Race is the first differentiating factor when we meet someone.
Based on the articles and readings provided in class, the argument can be made that every colonial group is racist. In other words, racism is a reoccurring tool used by imperializing powers in order to effectively subjugate native peoples and justify their own actions to themselves and their own peoples. “The pattern established at the outset has remained unchanged… the Spaniards still do nothing save tear the natives to shreds, murder them and inflict upon them untold misery, suffering and distress, tormenting, harrying and persecuting them mercilessly” (de las Casas). Here in the Spanish Caribbean racism is repeatedly used to undermine the cultural values of native Caribbean peoples while highlighting the greatness of Spanish culture/way
Historically, the stereotyping of people based on skin color, facial features and hair quality were used as factors to evaluate an individual. The closer the resemblance of these features to Europeans the better the individual chances to achieve acceptance and upward mobility. During slavery, the light-skinned and mixed ancestry persons were exposed and refined to what was considered proper communication, clothing and manners via their constant interaction with the white planters. Consequently, light-skinned black people were adopted into upper class and were offered better chances than their darker counterparts and therefore established higher socioeconomic status. Presently, these conceptions are still prevalent in today’s society and are