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Are movies obsessed with light-skinned characters? One writer thinks so. Morgan Jerkins wrote an article, The “Dear White People” syndrome: Why movies are obsessed with light-skinned black characters for Salon about the visible differences between the light-skinned and dark-skinned female characters in the movie Dear White People. She writes, “The film is a bold attempt. But I could not help wondering why a light-skinned biracial woman was the lead female protagonist, the champion of civil rights on the fictitious Winchester University’s campus… Meanwhile, the dark-skinned female supporting character, Colandrea Conners, or Coco Conners, is seen as a weave-wearing, eye-rolling, social-climbing and pretentious woman who is afraid to admit that she comes from South Side Chicago. Secretly, Coco wants to be Samantha since Samantha is getting more attention, both virally and literally from a TV producer. Again, this narrative has been produced: A lighter-skinned woman is given more attention while a darker-skinned woman struggles for the same recognition. ” Check out the full article here.

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  • Yolanda

    Another clutch article on light skinned only being on movies, ignoring the successes of plenty of wonderful dark skinned actresses, such as viola davis and lupita nyongo…blablabla

    • Cups

      More light skin women in general both known and unknown get a lot of spot light.

    • Neah

      Who are the “plenty” of successful dark skinned actresses? And while you’re composing this lengthy list, please make a list of successful light skinned actresses so we can compare the two. Thank you

  • Jessica

    This is about the stereotyping of the shades of black women; with an strict assignment of social stratum for the various shades. There is an unwritten rule practiced by white producers to never present a black woman to be equal to white women in beauty, desirability,deserving of romance, worthy of the protection of marriage(male inheritance), or capable of unaffected complex thought.

    Black male media producers have presented black women in their productions in this same color coded manner: lighter skin equals more attractive; darker skin equals less attractive and more associated with strife and bad experiences.Romance for the light skinned black woman. No romance for the dark skinned black woman.

    These rules do not apply to black male actors; if that were the case Wesley Snipes and a host of other black male actors would have never had a career. White producers disallow these images in their productions with black men in them by simply forbidding images of black actors in romantic association with black women, children or as immulative heads of black families.

    What they are doing is denying black women the right to protection, both literally on the ground in real life and figuratively in there contrived images of black life; both inside African American culture, and most definitely in the world outside of our culture.