July 8, 2011

Does Lighter Skin Mean Shorter Prison Term?

Topher Sanders, The Root


AP Photo

Colin Powell said it, Sen. Harry Reid hinted at it about President Barack Obama, and black folks have known it for hundreds of years. There are advantages to being a light-skinned black person in the United States.

Research on those advantages isn't new, but with the release of a recent study by Villanova University, the breadth of quantitative studies that examine colorism, or discrimination based on skin tone, continues to increase. From housing opportunities to employment chances to which women have a good shot at getting married, the lighter-is-better dynamic is at play, research shows.

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TAGGED: Prison, Crime, Racism, Skin

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