Shedding Light on Colorism: How the Colonial Fabrication of Colorism Impacts the Lives of African American Women

  • Adeola Egbeyemi


It is fascinating that the phenomenon of colorism, with such large scale and profound individual impact, can remain in the infancy of sociological study. Some African Americans insist that delving into the issue of colorism is a “distraction” and that we cannot overcome internalized racism until we defeat outward racism. I maintain that the battles are the same, and the impacts of both must be analyzed, but colorism—the lesser understood—requires its own attention. Colorism, notably among women, cannot begin to be resolved until both marginalized and non-marginalized people fully understand its creation leading to its current impact. Various papers and novels written with both the academic background and research and lived perspective as a dark-skinned black woman will be consulted. The research paper will move from the analysis of the historical context of colonialism and colorism against dark-skinned black women to unpacking colorisms many impacts and implications derived from this colonial construction to its effects within personal, private life. Thus, in my research paper, I will investigate how the colonial legacy of colorism impacts the lives of African American woman in the present day.