Color Struck: How Race and Complexion Matter in the “Color-Blind” Era

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Campus Life, Economics, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Social Work, United States, Women on 2018-12-03 03:34Z by Steven

Color Struck: How Race and Complexion Matter in the “Color-Blind” Era

Sense Publishers
2017
218 pages
ISBN Paperback: 9789463511087
ISBN Hardcover: 9789463511094
ISBN E-Book: 9789463511100

Edited by:

Lori Latrice Martin, Associate Professor of Sociology
Louisiana State University

Hayward Derrick Horton, Professor of Sociology
State University of New York, Albany

Cedric Herring, Professor and Director of the Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC)
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Verna M. Keith, Professor of Sociology
Texas A&M University

Melvin Thomas, Associate Professor of Sociology
North Carolina State University

Skin color and skin tone has historically played a significant role in determining the life chances of African Americans and other people of color. It has also been important to our understanding of race and the processes of racialization. But what does the relationship between skin tone and stratification outcomes mean? Is skin tone correlated with stratification outcomes because people with darker complexions experience more discrimination than those of the same race with lighter complexions? Is skin tone differentiation a process that operates external to communities of color and is then imposed on people of color? Or, is skin tone discrimination an internally driven process that is actively aided and abetted by members of communities of color themselves? Color Struck provides answers to these questions. In addition, it addresses issues such as the relationship between skin tone and wealth inequality, anti-black sentiment and whiteness, Twitter culture, marriage outcomes and attitudes, gender, racial identity, civic engagement and politics at predominately White Institutions. Color Struck can be used as required reading for courses on race, ethnicity, religious studies, history, political science, education, mass communications, African and African American Studies, social work, and sociology.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction / Lori Latrice Martin
  • 1. Race, Skin Tone, and Wealth Inequality in America / Cedric Herring and Anthony Hynes
  • 2. Mentions and Melanin: Exploring the Colorism Discourse and Twitter Culture / Sarah L. Webb and Petra A. Robinson
  • 3. Beyond Black and White but Still in Color: Preliminary Findings of Skin Tone and Marriage Attitudes and Outcomes among African American Young Adults / Antoinette M. Landor
  • 4. Connections or Color? Predicting Colorblindness among Blacks / Vanessa Gonlin
  • 5. Black Body Politics in College: Deconstructing Colorism and Hairism toward Black Women’s Healing / Latasha N. Eley
  • 6. Biracial Butterflies: 21st Century Racial Identity in Popular Culture / Paul Easterling
  • 7. Confronting Colorism: An Examination into the Social and Psychological Aspects of Colorism / Jahaan Chandler
  • 8. How Skin Tone Shapes Civic Engagement among Black Americans / Robert L. Reece and Aisha A. Upton
  • 9. The Complexity of Color and the Religion of Whiteness / Stephen C. Finley and Lori Latrice Martin
  • About the Contributors
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Genesis of U.S. Colorism and Skin Tone Stratification: Slavery, Freedom, and Mulatto-Black Occupational Inequality in the Late 19th Century

Posted in Articles, Economics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2018-12-03 02:54Z by Steven

Genesis of U.S. Colorism and Skin Tone Stratification: Slavery, Freedom, and Mulatto-Black Occupational Inequality in the Late 19th Century

The Review of Black Political Economy
First Published 2018-05-21
21 pages
DOI: 10.1177/0034644618770761

Robert L. Reece, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Texas, Austin

Studies show lighter skinned Black people are advantaged on a number of social indicators—a phenomenon called “colorism.” These studies generally contend preferences for light-skinned and/or Mulatto slaves endured the postbellum period to shape social outcomes into today. Following this idea, other studies examine differences in social outcomes between Mulattos and Blacks in the 19th century, but few empirically connect antebellum life to postbellum Mulatto–Black stratification. With that in mind, I examine whether the socio-economic differences between Mulattos and Blacks varied across geographic space in proportion to places’ reliance on slave labor and the characteristics of its free African American population. This allows me to examine whether differences in economic status between Mulattos and Blacks are a result of Mulatto advantage in the form of privileged positions during slavery. My results reveal that Mulattos have higher occupational statuses relative to Blacks in places where slavery was more prominent and where free Mulattos were literate. This suggests the intraracial hierarchy established during slavery was more likely to be replicated in places where slavery was more important, and Mulattos were able to capitalize on freedom by leveraging their literacy into better economic statuses after emancipation. These results support the idea that skin color stratification was initiated at least in part by practices during chattel slavery and offers some plausible mechanisms for its transmission.

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Color Crit: Critical Race Theory and the History and Future of Colorism in the United States

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2018-10-24 23:49Z by Steven

Color Crit: Critical Race Theory and the History and Future of Colorism in the United States

Journal of Black Studies
First Published 2018-10-16
23 pages
DOI: 10.1177/0021934718803735

Robert L. Reece, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Texas, Austin

Critical race theory teaches that racism and racial inequality are constants in American society that stand outside of the prejudices of individuals. It argues that structures and institutions are primarily responsible for the maintenance of racial inequality. However, critical race theorists have neglected to formally examine and theorize colorism, a primary offshoot of racial domination. Although studies of colorism have become increasingly common, they lack a unifying theoretical framework, opting to lean on ideas about prejudice and preference to explain the advantages lighter skinned, Black Americans are afforded relative to darker skinned Black Americans. In this study, I deploy a critical race framework to push back against preference as the only, or primary, mechanism facilitating skin tone stratification. Instead, I use historical Census data and regression analysis to explore the historical role of color-based marriage selection on concentrating economic advantage among lighter skinned Black Americans. I then discuss the policy and legal implications of developing a structural view of colorism and skin tone stratification in the United States and the broader implications for how we conceptualize race in this country.

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

America’s obsession with multiracial beauty reveals our ongoing bias against blackness

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-10-09 23:58Z by Steven

America’s obsession with multiracial beauty reveals our ongoing bias against blackness

Quartz
2016-10-06

Robert L. Reece, Ph.D. Candidate
Duke University

Last month, rapper Kanye West posted a controversial casting call for his clothing line, Yeezy, mandating “multiracial women only.” Many objected, arguing that West had insulted darker-skinned black women.

But Kanye was only adhering to something fairly common in a society that still operates under a racial hierarchy: the belief that multiracial people are more attractive—what sociologist Jennifer Sims has termed the “biracial beauty stereotype.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Are Biracial People Better-Looking? New Research On Beauty And Race

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-17 14:23Z by Steven

Are Biracial People Better-Looking? New Research On Beauty And Race

Medical Daily
2016-08-15

Dana Dovey, Health and Science Reporter

The number of interracial marriages are at an all-time high, and the biracial demographic continues to grow. However, our admiration for the “exotic” looks of multicultural people may have consequences. According to a recent study, black people who simply say they’re multiracial are considered better-looking by others, regardless of how they actually look.

For the study, 3,200 self-identified black people were interviewed by people of all different races as part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The interviewees were asked a series of questions about their racial background. Afterwards, the interviewers then rated the black interviewees on their attractiveness based on a scale of one to five. Results revealed that individuals who said they were multiracial got higher scores of attractiveness, suggesting that just the idea that an African-American person is of mixed-race heritage makes that person more attractive to others…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

I seek to take a different approach and examine how racial self-identification influences perception, not of race, but of attractiveness, which has also been shown to be an agent of stratification.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-08-15 15:22Z by Steven

These studies on self-identification hinge on the idea that self-identification is derived in part from people’s interpretations of external perceptions and social context, e.g., because multiracial people with black heritage think they are viewed as black rather than multiracial, they identify as black. I seek to take a different approach and examine how racial self-identification influences perception, not of race, but of attractiveness, which has also been shown to be an agent of stratification. People viewed as more attractive are afforded a variety of privileges including being viewed as more competent (Parks and Kennedy 2007; Ritts et al. 1992), having higher incomes (Frieze et al. 1991), and having increased chances of being hired (Hosoda et al. 2003; for an in-depth review of this literature see Frevert and Walker 2014). While studies have examined the intraracial effects of skin tone on attractiveness (e.g., Hill 2002), few have explored how other processes  such as multiraciality affect perceptions of attractiveness.

Robert L. Reece, “What are You Mixed with: the Effect of Multiracial Identification on Perceived Attractiveness,” The Review of Black Political Economy, June 2016, Volume 43, Issue 2, 141. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12114-015-9218-1.

Tags: , , ,

What are You Mixed with: the Effect of Multiracial Identification on Perceived Attractiveness

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-15 13:30Z by Steven

What are You Mixed with: the Effect of Multiracial Identification on Perceived Attractiveness

The Review of Black Political Economy
June 2016, Volume 43, Issue 2
pages 139–147
DOI: 10.1007/s12114-015-9218-1

Robert L. Reece, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Texas, Austin

Studies consistently show that attractiveness is racialized, and in a racial hierarchy that privileges whites at the expense of blacks, white phenotypic characteristics are deemed more attractive than black phenotypic characteristics. This study seeks to examine whether the racialized nature of attractiveness is based on more than just appearance. To that end, I use Add Health data to analyze whether black people who identify as mixed race rather than as a single race are perceived as more attractive even when controlling for phenotype, particularly skin tone, eye color, and hair color.

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Beauty is in the Ear of the Beholder Too

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-15 13:19Z by Steven

Beauty is in the Ear of the Beholder Too

Duke Research Blog
Duke University
2016-08-10

Eric Ferreri

Just the suggestion that an African-American person is of mixed-race heritage makes that person more attractive to others, research from Duke University concludes.

This holds true even if the people in question aren’t actually of multiracial heritage, according to the peer-reviewed study, published in the June 2016 issue of Review of Black Political Economy.

The simple perception of exoticism sways people to see multiracial blacks as better-looking, says study author Robert L. Reece, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Duke.

“Being exotic is a compelling idea,” Reece says. “So people are attracted to a certain type of difference. It’s also partially just racism – the notion that black people are less attractive, so being partially not-black makes you more attractive.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,