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Chione Koech

United States

Message to Readers

any kind they feel like

Poem Collection

January 21, 2016

PROMPT: Open Prompt

Light Skin V.S. Dark Skin
In dominant generalized ethnicities be it Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, or Indian besides White there is a common stigma, the lighter skinned people of the said ethnicity are preferred in jobs, marriage, and general life. Interestingly enough, not all ethnicities came to prefer light skinned individuals in the same way. In the Black and Indian communities the opposition/criticism of the darker skinned individuals comes from the intervention of (white) European peoples in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. While in the Hispanic and Asian communities prejudiced ideas towards the dark skinned people in their countries comes from the belief that you are dark if you spend your days working in the fields.
The African Americans in the slave trade had light skin v.s. dark skin struggles, it is well known to everybody. Light skinned slaves were viewed as better because they had white blood in them like Willie Lynch suggested,“Crossbreeding Niggers mean taking so many drops of good white blood and putting them into as many nigger women as possible, varying the drops by the various tone that you want, and then letting them breed with each other until another circle of color appears as you desire,” (Lynch). It has been proven in social media that the idea of light skinned blacks are more valued. In the movie industry light skinned actors are more valued and picked more often when in when in dominantly white tv shows and movies. While it is the 21st century, we have carried some of the 18th century ideas with us.
    In Asia, latin countries, and hispanic countries they prefer light skin because those with dark skin are seen as poor. It is automatically assumed they are less educated and poor because generally people who work in fields all day are extremely dark. While people that work inside, rule, or govern have light skin because they are rarely outside if they don't want to be.It is even more common to see a light skinned person of power. People in Asia even go as far as walking around fully covered because they do not want to get tanned.
In early India all the idolized people were the darkest in the nation. It was even quoted by Marco Polo that all gods were depicted as black and all demons and devils were depicted as white,“For I assure you that the darkest man is here the most highly esteemed and considered better than others who are not so dark. Let me add that in very truth these people portray and depict their gods and their idols black and their devils white as snow,” (Polo). After conquerors and explorers started coming in with their light skin and those conquerors/explorers were preferring the light skinned peoples there was a shift. It seems in India white/light skin was idolized after the dominant influencer (lighter races) showed a preference to those with lighter skin and a disdain for those with dark skin like in the American slave trade. That idea has carried on into today's culture in India, the skin lightening industry is booming and it is common to see ads in newspapers requesting an olive toned wife.
In today’s world there is a common stigma of light skin is better than dark skin in the ethnicities that come in all different shades from yellow to black. Which affects all the people in those nations by widening or narrowing their opportunities in life. But what separates them is the fact that some communities of people developed their disdain for dark skin by being influenced by other light skinned races. While others developed it from observations between a person's job and a person's skin tone.


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