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Shadeism [VIDEO]

"This short TV documentary is an introduction to the issue of shadeism, the discrimination that exists between the lighter-skinned and darker-skinned members of the same community. This documentary short looks specifically at how it affects young womyn within the African, Caribbean, and South Asian diasporas. Through the eyes and words of 5 young womyn and 1 little girl - all females of colour - the film takes us into the thoughts and experiences of each. Overall, 'Shadeism' explores where shadeism comes from, how it directly affects us as womyn of colour, and ultimately, begins to explore how we can move forward through dialogue and discussion." -unique5589


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Noel Magee's curator insight, April 11, 7:54 PM

This is the first time I've ever heard of Shadeism. While this is an issue of the same race discriminating against each other based on the lightness or darkness of their skin, I can't help but wonder that this is yet another tactic of white supremacy. While discrimination still exists today, it seems that there is less discrimination against individuals with lighter skin tones than those of darker ones. This causes discrimination within races because they are competing with each other for opportunities. As for Asians, it is part of their culture to cover as much of their body as possible in order to maintain a pale skin tone. Asians with darker skin tones may be mistaken for other races such as Latinos or Filipinos, therefore, making it harder for them to get jobs or education. The fact that races are starting to turn on each other is taking the spot light off of whites discriminating against other races, and putting it on the minorities who already have negative stereotypes about them. Whites maintain their supremacy, while destroying other races. If minorities are arguing with each other, they have less time to think about the opportunities that they are missing out due to White Americans taking higher up jobs with higher pay. It's a smart tactic for white Americans to use, a sneaky one. Unfortunately, it is starting to create a hostile environment for children as well, which makes for a difficult future. 

 

*Module 7

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Skin Bleaching and Global White Supremacy: By Way of Introduction

The cosmetic use of chemical agents to lighten the complexion of one’s skin, also referred to as skin whitening, skin lightening, and/or skin bleaching, is currently a widespread global phenomenon. While the history of skin bleaching can be traced to the Elizabethan age of powder and paint, in its current manifestations, skin bleaching is practiced disproportionately within communities “of color” and exceedingly among people of African descent. While it is true that skin bleaching represents a multifaceted phenomenon, with a complexity of historical, cultural, sociopolitical, and psychological forces motivating the practice, the large majority of scholars who examine skin bleaching at the very least acknowledge the institutions of colonialism and enslavement historically, and global White supremacy contemporarily, as dominant and culpable instigators of the penchant for skin bleaching. As an introduction to this Special Issue of The Journal of Pan African Studies focusing on skin bleaching and global White supremacy, the purpose of this paper is to critically examine the symbolic significance of whiteness, particularly for and among African people, by outlining the history of global White supremacy, both politically and ideologically, discussing its subsequent promulgation, and further investigating its relationship to the historical and contemporary skin bleaching phenomenon.

Read the entire article here.

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