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ERIC Number: ED408962
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Light Skinned with Good Hair: The Role of the Media and Christianity in the Maintenance of Self-Hatred in African Americans.
Akintunde, Omowale
This paper explores how feelings of self-hatred in African Americans are perpetuated through media and the standard physical and ideological manifestations of Christianity. The notion that skin that is closer to white and hair that is closer to white are both more desirable attributes is a dominant theme underlying the African American experience. The implications of such a notion (being African American is unattractive) cannot survive as a singular pejorative idea; it must be reinforced from every possible social milieu. Yet most African Americans deny or are at least unaware on a conscious level of the impact of their perceptions of these phenomena on the formulation of their self-image. The consequences of such pervasive beliefs erects a social, psychological, and cultural construct which leads African Americans to believe they are inferior by virtue of their birth. Examples include: (1) in film and music videos, the concept of the white female as more desirable is perpetuated, so that African American women spend millions of dollars each year on products to make them look like white women; (2) in a study of four-year old African American girls, researchers found that there was a clear majority preference for white dolls; (3) African American comedy as evidenced on television is also replete with self-deprecation and with black audiences who laugh at it; (4) feelings of self-hatred perpetuated and ensconced in the standard physical and ideological manifestations of Christianity, through images of a white God. Until racially biased images are eliminated, the notion that all humans are not equal will persist. (AEF)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A