Colorism is bias, prejudice, discrimination, or inequality based on the relative skin tone, hair texture, and facial features among persons of the same race. Some people affected by colorism may even develop a dislike for their own skin and features. One of the most common myths about colorism is that it’s just a problem for dark skinned people. The reality is that colorism affects all of us, regardless of race or skin tone.

Click hear for a longer list of colorism definitions.

Also try: Colorism and Racism: What is the Difference?

Why does Colorism exist?

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Colorism is a global phenomenon with a complex history and roots that extend far into the past. A common explanation in many societies is that European colonialism and the international slave trade spread the idea of white supremacy. However, in some Asian cultures, for example, skin color was associated with social caste even before the Colonial Period. Here are a couple of blog posts for further reading.

Colorism: Roots and Routes

Historical Roots of Colorism: Early Spanish Origins

For further study, see The Colorism Database.

The Colorism Database

The Colorism Database is an ongoing compilation of works past and present that explore the issue of colorism around the globe. The database is currently organized in a table format with over 300 entries. You can search by keyword or sort by author, date, title, country, or type of project. Some of the items in the database include links to the original source or additional information.

The database helps to serve our mission by offering the public easy and comprehensive access to the global work being done around the issue of colorism. Click to browse the Colorism Database.