Colorism Quotes

Why compile a list of colorism quotes? The official answer is that a collection of quotations helps fulfill the CH mission to raise awareness and provide a hub of information and resources about colorism. Other equally valid and true reasons: People like quotes! Because sometimes I just don’t know what to write. Sometimes I get tired of my own voice and just want to soak up what others have said. Sometimes I feel like people aren’t hearing me, but they might be able to hear someone else. Full disclosure: This is by no means a comprehensive survey. I selected quotations that I tend to agree with and that are by people (much) more famous than me.… Read More

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Colorism in the Media: Lupita Nyong’o on the Power of Images

In the following video, Lupita Nyong’o talks to BET about why media images were so important for her growing up and continue to be important for everyone today. Nyong’o is the 2014 Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actress, and many believe that she’s the favorite to win. She has already been nominated for numerous awards and won several for her supporting actress role in the acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave, including a Screen Actors Guild Award, an NAACP Image Award, and a Critic’s Choice Award. In a previous post about how Lupita Nyong’o helps combat colorism in the media, I wrote that I didn’t know if she embraced her role… Read More

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Colorism and Black History Month

Everyone has a different opinion about February as Black History Month. Some wonder why it’s necessary, or even if it’s a form of “reverse racism.” Others think it’s very necessary, but poorly executed. While I’ve always been a supporter of celebrating Black History Month, this year I want to discuss colorism and Black History Month. Colorism Healing through Black History One way to heal from colorism is to cultivate pride in being people of African descent. Since colorism is the result of white supremacy, it’s necessary for our communities to celebrate black history as a way to reverse the harmful effects that centuries of white supremacy have had on us.… Read More

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How Colorism Affects Light Skinned Girls and Women

Some people mistakenly assume that colorism is an issue for dark skinned people, but it’s actually an issue for all people. The prevalence of that misconception is part of the reason colorism persists. In order for our communities to really heal from this issue, we must acknowledge the ways that colorism affects light skinned girls and women. Having a light skinned sister, it’s easy for me (and her) to see both sides of this issue and how no one goes untouched by colorism. For others, however, it may not be as clear. I single out females because color intersects with gender in ways that are more complex than one post… Read More

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Historical Roots of Colorism, Part I: Early Spanish Origins

The Spanish cared about skin color. Whether on the European continent, or throughout the Spanish colonial world, ancestry, and the proscribed skin colors thus attached, mattered. Long before the formation of the United States, and even before the French recognized the light-skinned “mulâtre” (mulatto) in colonial censuses during the 1690s, the Spanish attached specific social and racial values to particular skin tones, and the degrees of mixture each one implied. As early as 1533, a debate arose in Madrid, Spain’s capital, over whether or not children of Spanish men and Indian or African women should be recognized by the Crown and educated as vassals of the empire. After some debate,… Read More

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colorism in hip hop ave by Scott W

Colorism in Hip Hop: Keeping it Real

The phrase ‘keeping it real” was coined by the hip hop world, a genre of music I’ve been known to enjoy. But many of the biggest names in hip hop are consistently guilty of NOT keeping it real. This applies to many aspects of hip hop, but for our purposes, we’re going to examine colorism in hip hop. The following are eight aspects of colorism in hip hop that we must be “real” and honest about. 1) Colorism in hip hop does exist. There’s debate about whether or not colorism exists in general, so we can expect controversy when discussing whether or not colorism exists in hip hop. Many have… Read More

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black girl with plaits via blue skyz media on flickr; help your children deal with colorism

Are You Doing Enough to Help Your Child Deal with Colorism?

“I always tell my daughter she’s beautiful,” said one father in response to our discussion about colorism. He, like many parents, believed that she was too young for any discussion beyond that. Like many parents, he thought that this vague show of affection was enough to ward off the world’s animosity toward dark skin and Afrocentric features. Yet despite his regular proclamations of his daughter’s beauty, she herself actually saw very little beauty or worth in dark skin. I could see it, but he was clearly in denial. If you really want to help your child deal with colorism, it’s time to stop relying on the easy excuses. Why merely… Read More

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A Broader Definition of Colorism

While the term colorism may lead us to focus on skin color, we can only get a full grasp on the issue if we allow for a broader definition of colorism that also includes other physical features such as hair, nose, lips, and eyes, especially among people of African decent. The reason colorism is broader than mere color is that people don’t just view skin tone as gradient–they also view race as gradient. In some societies, there’s the concept that people can be “close to white” or “almost white” or “more white” compared to others in their race. Of course the actual terms and comparisons vary from region to region,… Read More

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A New Series on the Historical Roots of Colorism

By Andrew N. Wegmann Colorism, like all modern constructs, has roots in our history. Although versions of colorism have existed across nearly every civilization throughout every time period, the most immediately available to us is that of the United States. Over the next few months, I will trace these historical roots, shedding light on where, when, and how the problem of colorism came to affect our society today. Colorism itself is nothing new; but it was only recently (in the grand scheme of human history) that a prejudice has grown around the notion of skin pigmentation, and variations thereof. From the “Casta System” of 17th century New Spain to the… Read More

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black and white retro television (colorism in television)

3 Simple Ways to Deal with Colorism on Television

Whether it’s TV shows, movies, commercials, or music videos, I’m sure you’re no stranger to colorism on television, but here I give you some insanely simple tips for dealing with it as families or just for your own sanity! Whether you try all of these tips or just one, even a small change in your habits can make a difference in how you or your family is impacted by colorism on television. Watch less. Beyond the usual reasons people give you for watching less TV, cutting back on tube time can help you combat colorism in two ways: by reducing your exposure to the media’s obsession with fair skin by… Read More

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