UNF professor explores the impact of skin tone on the everyday lives of African-American women

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Women on 2016-01-20 23:01Z by Steven

UNF professor explores the impact of skin tone on the everyday lives of African-American women

The Florida Times-Union

Rhema Thompson

JeffriAnne Wilder always knew African-Americans came in many shades. She saw it in her own family, from her light-skinned older sister to her two dark-skinned brothers. Her complexion fell somewhere in the middle.

“I saw the variation at home, but I didn’t place any value on it,” she recalled.

Around age 10 that began to change. She noticed the light-skinned girls in her predominantly black Cleveland elementary class seemed to be treated differently. Other students seemed enamored by their creamy complexions and wavy hair.

Decades later, that sentiment hit closer to home when she became pregnant with her daughter.

“I had lots of people just assume because my ex-husband is biracial and light-skinned with green eyes that she was going to be light-skinned, too,” she said. “ ‘Oh, you’re going to have the prettiest daughter. She’s going to be so pretty. She’s going to be light and blah, blah, blah,’ and I remember telling people ‘What happens if she’s not light-skinned? What if she ends up like me?’ ”

Now, an associate sociology professor at the University of North Florida and director of the school’s new Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations, Wilder is sharing her observations and the experiences of 66 other black women in her first published book “Color Stories.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Color Stories: Black Women and Colorism in the 21st Century

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, Women on 2016-01-20 22:16Z by Steven

Color Stories: Black Women and Colorism in the 21st Century

October 2015
198 pages
6.125 x 9.25
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4408-3109-6
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4408-3110-2

JeffriAnne Wilder, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida

Colorism continues to impact women of African descent in a new generation and century.

This book offers an in-depth sociological exploration of present-day colorism in the lives of black women, investigating the lived experiences of a phenomenon that continues to affect women of African descent.

Race still matters. And for black women, the related issues of skin tone are just as important today as in decades past. Part cultural commentary, part empirical analysis, this book offers a compelling study and discussion of colorism—a widely discussed but understudied issue in “post-racial” America—that demonstrates how powerful a factor skin color remains in the everyday lives of young black women. Author JeffriAnne Wilder conducted interviews with dozens of young black women about the role of colorism in their everyday lives. Collectively, these findings offer a compelling empirical and theoretical analysis of colorism in key areas of 21st-century life, including within family and school settings, in the media, and in intimate relationships.

The culmination of nearly two decades of the author’s deep entrenchment in colorism studies, Color Stories: Black Women and Colorism in the 21st Century provides a new perspective on a controversial issue that has been a part of black culture and academic study for generations by exploring how the contemporary nature of colorism—from Facebook to the First Lady to Beyoncé—impacts the ideas and experiences of black women. This work serves as essential reading for anyone interested in learning more about the historical and contemporary significance of colorism in modern-day America, regardless of the reader’s race, sex, or age.


  • Presents a contemporary sociological analysis of the issue of skin-tone prejudice and discrimination and the unique social and cultural implications for black women in today’s society
  • Provides readers with a vocabulary for understanding and discussing the unique features and characteristics of colorism in the 21st century
  • Supplies scholarly analysis balanced with thought-provoking testimony from more than 60 black women between the ages of 18 and 25 on how color matters in their daily lives
  • Offers concrete strategies for change and empowerment in dismantling the paradigm of colorism
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University of North Florida Presents James Weldon Johnson Symposium

Posted in Anthropology, Forthcoming Media, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Social Science, United States on 2012-04-04 09:07Z by Steven

University of North Florida Presents James Weldon Johnson Symposium

University of North Florida
Press Release

Joanna Norris, Associate Director of Public Relations

he University of North Florida presents the James Weldon Johnson Symposium from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 5, and from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, April 6, in the UNF Student Union Auditorium, Building 58W, Room 2704, in celebration of the centennial anniversary of the publication of James Weldon Johnson’sAutobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.”

The symposium will feature student and faculty performances, poetry readings as well as music and dance performances. The keynote speaker will be Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder, assistant professor in the UNF Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She will discuss “Black Americans and Colorism in the 21st Century,” while UNF student Erin Mulkey will perform “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” a song written by Johnson and is considered to be the Negro national anthem.

Additionally, there will be faculty and student presentations addressing the life of Johnson as well as his Jacksonville origins and connections. The event will conclude at 4 p.m. Friday, April 6, with a performance by the renowned McIntosh County Shouters, a group that performs the “Southeastern Ring Shout,” which is among the oldest surviving African-American performance traditions on the North American continent.

For more information, click here.

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