Professor Krysten L. Long
DescriptionColorism in the Black community is pervasive, and it has far-reaching consequences. Existing research has noted the disadvantages that Black women of darker complexions experience regarding out-group and in- group colorist ideas and the privileges that lighter-skinned Black women receive (Keith and Herring 1991). However, colorism does not solely confer benefits to those of lighter complexions. Colorism has beenfound to be more impactful on individuals when it is perpetuated within their respective communities (Monk 2021). Nevertheless, there is a persistent trivialization of the impact that within-group colorist confrontations may have on light-skinned Black women and their struggles are largely omitted from the conversation on colorism. This exclusion ignores the penalties associated with being Black and having lighter skin (Uzogara and Jackson 2016) and contribute to a portrayal of colorism and the trauma it causes as relatively unidirectional or minimally damaging to those with lighter complexions. The present study seeks to partly fill that void by exploring light-skinned Black women’sexperiences with in-group colorism. In making this analysis this study does not seek to negate the impact of colorism on or its implications for Black American women with darker complexions, nor does it deny the existence of light skin privilege. Instead, it seeks to expand the ongoing dialogue within and outside of academia by affording light-skinned Black women the opportunity to center themselves within their respective realities thus offering nuance and specific context to the conversation. This work is driven by the omission of these specific stories and the negation of important questions that could help us to better understand the implications of experiences with intra-racial colorism. .