Intraracial Discrimination In Black Africa

Powerful Essays
Skin lightening amongst the black African community has always been a major and controversial issue in the sense that those who have been bleaching their skin, especially with women have been accused of displaying characteristics of anti-blackness, along with colourism - which is known as intraracial discrimination within one single race. Amongst black Africans this discrimination is based on the Eurocentric standards of beauty and in some cases can go as far as to how some black people are willing to participate in white assimilation so as to acquire social, political and economic power. Normally, the conventional notions of skin amongst black people focus on women, but in this instance I will focus on men. This is because there is a notion…show more content…
One interviewee is from Nigeria, another Zambian and one South African man five different questions. This is to ensure that even though they are all black, there is a variety of responses. These questions incorporate the issue of why women and not men bleach their skin, and it also assesses what Western perceptions surround the masculinities of black African men within the African community. I asked them to type their feedback and send it back to me, so that they could answer these questions in their comfort of their own personal space and time, therefore I believe that the answers that would be produced would be more authentic as they would not feel the pressure of having to speak to an interviewer regarding such a complex…show more content…
Though there is an interesting contrast to black African masculinity in the US versus African states in the sense that in the US it is dark skinned men who are discriminated against according to their skin tone amongst Africans, unlike in Africa where it is light skinned men. An example of this discrimination of dark skinned men is social practices of the “Paper Bag Test” and the “Comb Test” (Uzogara et al, 2014: 201). Where in the paper bag test if a man’s skin tone was darker than the paper bag, then he could not be part of the social circle. The comb test is done to check how “coarse, nappy and kinky” a man’s hair would be and if his hair did not “glide” through the comb then he was not allowed to be part of that social circle (Uzogara et al, 2014: 202). In the economic aspect, lighter skinned men in American communities are more likely to be more educated and generally more successful (Robst et al, 2011: 144). However, according to the findings of my questionnaire, there seems to be a correlation between African masculinities, i.e predominantly associated with dark skinned black African men and success (which could represented by their level of education, economic wealth and
Get Access