A JOURNAL OF COLOUR: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF COLOURISM TODAY. Date : Tuesday October 4 th 2011. Student Name: Meloney Whitney, A.W.C.C.A., B.S.W., M.S.W Candidate. WHAT IS ‘COLOURISM’?.
Date : Tuesday October 4th 2011.
Student Name: Meloney Whitney, A.W.C.C.A., B.S.W., M.S.W Candidate
1. How is colourism today related to historical remnants of slavery, and present day colonialism?
2. In what ways are the Black community, and in particular individuals who are dark skinned, affected by colourism?
3. How is colourism manifested and perpetuated daily?
With its explicit embrace of race –consciousness, Critical Race Theory aims to re-examine the terms by which race and racism have been negotiated in American [and Canadian] consciousness, and to recover and revitalize the radical tradition of race-consciousness among African – Americans and other peoples of color – a tradition that was discarded when integration, assimilation and the ideal of color-blindness became the official norms of racial enlightment (p. xiv).
HISTORICAL EXAMPLES OF INTERRACIAL COLOURISM :
Colour caste system on the plantation : Enslaved Blacks assigned tasks by colour (e.g. house and field work)
Slave Auction Block : Qualitative judgements made concerning light and dark skin slaves; Prices of slaves differed based on skin colour (Carpenter, 2009).
Privileges during and after slavery : White plantation owners and legislators freed their own bi –racial children, help them find jobs, start business, give them property etc. (Russell et. Al, 1992).
Law : Blacks with with light-enough skin and European features commonly got around the law by simply passing as White (Russell et al., 1992, p.15).
HISTORICAL EXAMPLES OF INTRARACIAL COLOURISM :
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
To end, my hope for this paper was to build an awareness, which aimed to promote social justice efforts for those who are affected by colourism. I sought to bring light to the impact and experiences of colourism as faced by some Black individuals in the Black community. This paper was also my attempt to push back at contemporary colonial violence, as perpetuated through acts of colourism.
Q and A: What’s the difference between racism and colourism?
Conceptually, then, although it may in some circumstances make sense to analytically distinguish colorism from racism, race and color are not two different things. Rather, what we know as traditional racism and what we now recognize as colorism represent related ways to assign status and stigma. Traditional racism places a higher value on ancestry than colorism; traditional racism assigns people to discrete racial categories, while colorism assigns people to places along a spectrum from dark to light, indigenous or African to European (p.61).