liberation from shades of blackness

liberation from shades of blackness - Reading questions:...

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  Reading questions: What is "colorism"?  What is "shadism"?  What does each term  imply? What is this article's position on skin lighteners? LIBERATION FROM SHADES OF  BLACKNESSBY Tiffany Maria Joseph The Voice, UK, May 6, 2007 W.E.B Dubois the American civil rights activist  once claimed that the “problem of the 20th  century is the problem of the colour line- the  relation of the darker to the lighter races of men”. A century later, has the situation changed? Did the  “black is beautiful” revolution change our perception  of skin colour or is the ‘colour line’ still alarmingly  relevant today? There is a persistent tendency to think of dark skin as  unattractive and many people still seem to believe  that with preferences come advantages in society.  Skin lightening products are considered to promise 
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miraculous transformation implying that by using the  right product you can eliminate the social conditions  that define black life. During the days of chattel enslavement skin colour  became the code for social position. The slaves who  more resembled their slave masters in colour had the  more positive traits assigned to them. The very  condition of slavery was determined on the basis of  skin colour. According to Dr Na’im Akbar the African’s black skin  was once considered as evidence for his cursed state  to serve as a slave and became linked with other  subhuman traits. On the other hand he argued the  slave masters pale skin became equated with  supernatural human traits. This deeply engrained idea  has up until this day persisted. Today, ‘Colourism’ or ‘Shadism’ as it has been  defined, exists as a product of insecurity. It is a  complex issue that affects people of different skin  tones and backgrounds in different ways. But the  good thing is we are talking about it. When the Voice  asked Chat show host Trisha Goddard her views on 
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skin complexion she said it was never an issue for  her. Being the first black person in Australian history to 
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This note was uploaded on 06/20/2008 for the course IAH 201 taught by Professor Dontknow during the Spring '05 term at Michigan State University.

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liberation from shades of blackness - Reading questions:...

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