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Color Struck

How Race and Complexion Matter in the “Color-Blind” Era

2017 - 218 pages

Lori Latrice Martin (Louisiana State University, USA), Hayward Derrick Horton (University at Albany, State University of New York, USA), Cedric Herring (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA), Verna M. Keith (Texas A&M University, USA) and Melvin Thomas (North Carolina State University, USA) (Eds.)

ISBN Paperback: 9789463511087 ($ 36.00)
ISBN Hardcover: 9789463511094 ($ 99.00)
ISBN E-Book: 9789463511100

Subject: Multicultural Education, Race, Race Education

Number 6 of the series: Teaching Race and Ethnicity

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Color Struck

Skin color and skin tone has historically played a significant role in determining the life chances of African Americans and other people of color. It has also been important to our understanding of race and the processes of racialization. But what does the relationship between skin tone and stratification outcomes mean? Is skin tone correlated with stratification outcomes because people with darker complexions experience more discrimination than those of the same race with lighter complexions? Is skin tone differentiation a process that operates external to communities of color and is then imposed on people of color? Or, is skin tone discrimination an internally driven process that is actively aided and abetted by members of communities of color themselves? Color Struck provides answers to these questions. In addition, it addresses issues such as the relationship between skin tone and wealth inequality, anti-black sentiment and whiteness, Twitter culture, marriage outcomes and attitudes, gender, racial identity, civic engagement and politics at predominately White Institutions. Color Struck can be used as required reading for courses on race, ethnicity, religious studies, history, political science, education, mass communications, African and African American Studies, social work, and sociology.


Color Struck provides an unprecedented level of inquiry into the influence of skin tone on pervasive communal conventions that have historically fostered social inequality. The authors' laser focus on the impact of skin tone within the broader construct of race, illustrates the way that an exceedingly visible yet conspicuously absent construct like complexion can be simultaneously biologically inconsequential but ontologically determinant. Consequently, Color Struck pushes into the 21st century the thrust of magisterial works of sociological and political philosophy like Charles Mill's Racial Contract, to surface the contemporary complexities of race and racism.
--Roland Mitchell Jo Ellen Levy Yates Endowed Professor and Associate Dean in the College of Human Sciences and Education at Louisiana State University

Color Struck is a very ambitious book that expands our cultural narrative and discourse on race in America. As we become more interdependent in a global economy it is critical to recognize and understand how the social stratification within subgroups by skin tone is a universal variable of oppression or upliftment. This book explores how the intersection of skin tone and racial identity has profound effects on how minority groups are able or not able to mobilize or coalesce around a set of key principles that advance of black agenda. Subsequently, the lens by which we have historically examined discrimination must be recalibrated to address the life chances of all members of the group with variations.  
--David I. Rudder, Ph.D. Associate Dean, School of Professional and Continuing Studies, Springfield College

Examining skin color stratification and its significant role in determining life chances, Color Struck advances insights into the social construction of race in contemporary American Society. Race is not a constant, but instead a fluid, dynamic process of highly contested political and social change occurring over time. This volume delineates new ways in which discussions of skin tone can be connected to the complexities of conversations on race and social inequality.
--Geoffrey L. Wood, University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg
Color Struck furthers the racism dialogue by bringing to the forefront an issue that is often overshadowed by racism itself. Discounted as merely a sub-category, colorism, though acknowledged for centuries, has never gained adequate attention in the mainstream media, academia or the political realm. Color Struck provides such a platform, filling in the gaps left out in most literature regarding race. It is a must read for every citizen seeking to understand inequality in America and abroad.
--Pamela Lewis, Author of Teaching While Black: A New Voice on Race and Education in New York City
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Color Struck