This explains why my uncle and his family, ( very very light skinned blacks), have that mentality...he's in his late 60's and the rest are older so I see now why they are so color struck.
You know some of us still wont go out in the sun like some vampires. You were considered in the higher echelon of the social rungs the lighter your skin was and the striaghter your hair was. Back then not everybody could afford perms routinely.
The lighter skinned blacks were the leaders in the community...they were respected far above others just for their lightness. This is a great book, I encourage everyone to check it out ( Hair Story : Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America) .
Straight hair and light skin = wealthy, educated, worthy. Of course that came from slavery but it was so ingrained in the black community for centuries that it's still a way of thinking for some. Now a days I think naturals are morre commpnly seen in big corporate buisnesses but back then if you were light bright you were right.
The funny thing is, alot of us blacks are so mixed with different nationalities and will never know it, but one major contributor of the light skinned black is rape during slavery and the reconstructive years. We couldn't claim that part of our ancestry because not only was it illegal, it was shameful to know that your light skin meant someone in your family was the product of violence.
Somehow during the turn of the century, blacks realized the lighter skinned counterparts were treated better and some light skinned blacks even choose to live a life as a white person because they were considered "passing".
Edited by Msmchy - Jul 02 2009 at 10:48am