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Gettysburg College


American Studies

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

The Dark Skin I Am In, Zakiya A. Brown Oct 2014

The Dark Skin I Am In, Zakiya A. Brown


“You know, you’re pretty for a dark skinned girl, but I’m sure people tell that all the time”

“Can I honestly tell you, that you are the prettiest dark skinned girl I know?”

Throughout my life I have received comments such as these. I’ve heard them from my mother’s colleagues, strangers, and sometimes my friends. They provoked me to think that somehow I genetically lucked out to be physically attractive even though I was cursed to live within dark skin. [excerpt]

Style Watch: Blackface Edition, Rashida Aluko-Roberts Mar 2013

Style Watch: Blackface Edition, Rashida Aluko-Roberts


The above quote is from a statement/apology offered by Sebastian Kim, a photographer, whose recent editorial, “African Queen,” which featured a 16-year-old white female made to appear black, was marred with controversy. According to the photographer, dousing a young white female in deep bronze, accessorizing her in elaborate head wraps and heavy jewels (symbols that are often associated with Africa), was in no way an attempt to depict what an “African queen” looks like. Rather, his spread was attempting to showcase “the beauty aesthetic of his shoot” by using a “tanned or golden skin” model. [excerpt]