Friday, January 15, 2010



Colourism is a term that is used to show prejudice in terms of the person's skin colour. The term is quite new and it has not been define by anyone yet (I believe so). If we were to search in the open based Encyclopedia (Wikipedia), the term Colorism is still under discussion and most of the articles were not correctly cited (not to mention it falls under "extremely poor article").

Discrimination among human beings in accordance with their skin colour can be seen in America when they are on their way to accept the African as American. During that period the Americans who are fair/pale skinned (Anglo) stands as the majority and the ruling power of America. The Africans who are dark skinned were of course treated differently for being a different race, classes, etc.

In addition to the discrimination of race, dark-skinned people were discriminated with the tone colour of their skin. Meaning to say that the darker you are the more discrimination you will get. They point this as the "Brown Paper Bag Test", where they will use the colour of the brown paper bag as an indication of your skin colour complexion. Those who are darker than the paper bag will not able to attend the party or any other social events that uses this kind of test during that period. Previously in Wikipedia, it also mentions about the test being done to enter the Harvard University, but that part of the article have been removed.

Even in other countries, as a result of the colonization of the Anglo white-skinned people, fair/pale/white-skinned people are being look upon and were seen as more beautiful than those who are darker. This can be seen in my own country Malaysia, India, etc. As a result, beauty product that will make your skin fairer were created and sold to make our skin fairer and "beautiful".

(my opinion) I think Colourism does not only applies to dark-skinned people because of the Black Albino cases in Africa. Albinos in Africa were hunted and killed as they said that their body parts are very valuable in witchcraft. They were also seen as bringers of bad luck in their community.

I hope that the there will be more research in the study of Colourism. I am looking into the possibility about the view of the "colour" itself in relation with the colour of the skin; does the view that light/fair/white imagery is positive and dark/black imagery is negative (for example we have a hero that dresses in white and a villain in black) can reflect to the colour of the skin.

I will also try to look upon this matter in the Islamic point of view. Findings will be posted in the next post.


nick muhammad adly said...


Anonymous said...

Sokat, have a look at this poem:

When I born, I black
When I grow up, I black
When I go in Sun, I black
When I scared, I black
When I sick, I black
And when I die, I still black

And you white fellow
When you born, you pink
When you grow up, you white
When you go in sun, you red
When you cold, you blue
When you scared, you yellow
When you sick, you green
And when you die, you grey

And you calling me coloured?


Please take note on the poor grammar in the poem. It really sounds like it is spoken by a native African who can only speak a little English but it is sufficient to express utter sarcasm.

Some say that this poem was written by an African child and was nominated as the UN poem of the year for 2008. Some other say that this poem has been around since forever.

But that is besides the point, kan??

Quick question: is there anybody on earth that is white (as in White) or Black (totally black)?


Sokat said...

nick: ishh ... camane nk start theory, kita cam x layak jerk lg as a degree holder ... n sources x byk ah ... susa gak ...

Azhan: nope there's no one on earth that is white per se, but I guess there those who are black ... why?

bout that poem, yup it's unknown who wrote it ... even Malcolm-X quoted it ... hoho ...