"I don't see color." The common adage is an allusion to a society in which phenotype bares minimal weight on one's life chances. Scholars have long noted that the opposite is true-what we look like matters and greatly impacts our lives. Only coined in the 1980s, colorism, the preferential treatment of those with lighter skin and "desirable" features, has plagued communities of color for centuries. In this course, we will trace the origins of colorism considering global contexts for communities of color in general, and the African diaspora in particular. We will use emerging theories of colorism to examine the role of racism, colonialism, media, and capitalism in engendering and maintaining colorist ideals in contemporary society. We will engage academic and 'non-academic' texts to expose the variations of systemic colorism on a global scale often impacted by other demographic markers including: gender, region, class, ethnicity, and culture.
- Teacher: Edlin Veras