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Colorism didn’t just involve blacks discriminating against other blacks.Job advertisements from the mid-20th century reveal that African Americans with light skin clearly believed their coloring would make them more palatable as job candidates.Writer Brent Staples discovered this while searching the archives of newspapers near the Pennsylvania town where he grew up.He noticed that in the 1940s, black job seekers often identified themselves as light-skinned.“Cooks, chauffeurs and waitresses sometimes listed ‘light colored’’ as the primary qualification — ahead of experience, references, and the other important data,” Staples said.That makes it a persistent form of discrimination that should be fought with the same urgency that racism is. In the United States, colorism has roots in slavery.That’s because slave-owners typically gave preferential treatment to slaves with fairer complexions.While dark-skinned slaves toiled outdoors in the fields, their light-skinned counterparts usually worked indoors completing domestic tasks that were far less grueling. Slave-owners were partial to light-skinned slaves because they were often family members.
Although the speculation has yet to be confirmed, investigators believe Skinner and Franklin had only been dating a short period of time; a few short weeks.
Research has linked colorism to smaller incomes, lower marriage rates, longer prison terms and fewer job prospects for darker-skinned people.
What’s more, colorism has existed for centuries both in and outside of black America.
In a press release, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police spokesman Keith Trietley revealed the UNC Charlotte professor appeared to have suffered “obvious trauma” and was pronounced dead at the scene.
At the time of the press release, the police department had no leads but speculated Skinner’s death was the result of a domestic violence incident.