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A History of Colorism and How Its Pervasiveness Affected My Self-Worth Growing Up

The first recorded use of the term “colorism” comes from Alice Walker’s In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens: Womanist Prose in the essay, “If the Present Looks like the Past, What Does the Future Look Like?” in which Walker defines colorism as “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color”.

Walker is writing a letter to a friend whose skin color is lighter in complexion in which Walker is unpacking the dichotomy between dark-skinned Black women and light-skinned Black women.

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