2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

An Examination of Color and Beauty: An African American Woman’s Perspective
Starr M. Skinner
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Bell Hooks focuses on the African American point-of-view of racism and how it has dominated the lives of Black society. Hooks touches on the topic of internal racism and the “color caste system” among Blacks. She has written that the lighter the skin tone, the more social value a Black person has. This system began with the White community treating lighter skinned Blacks as somewhat superior to darker skinned Blacks. This perception has been sustained into the African American population. An African American may not experience this color system if raised in a community with very few other African Americans. One is ignorant to the prejudice coming from the same race until put in an environment where other Black people stereotype them based on their skin tone. This paper demonstrates this “color caste system” through personal experience and explains the impact that it has on African Americans in today’s society.

Keywords: African American, Color caste, racism


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 21-3
Location: VH 1320
Time: 10:15

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