When you think of racism, you immediately think of images of separation, usually with African Americans on one side and Caucasians on the other. Although that form of racism is still existent today, it is much more subtle than in past years. A particular form of racism that is highly present today is intra-racial racism, which is racism that occurs within race. This form of racism may be more offensive, harsh, and unapologetic than traditional racism because their is a common denominator of skin color.
Inta-racial racism is present across many races, but it seems as if the level of racism within the black community surpasses nearly all other races. This racism is evident in individuals from grade school, to individuals enjoying retirement.
At the center of the debate within the African American community is the issue of skin tone. African Americans are united under the race Black or African American, but that is where the degree of unity begins to crumble. Under the term African American, there is a system of separation that involves numerous shades of ‘”Black.” This separation, broken down into various groupings, with the complexity of a brainstorming web, comes equipped with stereotypes and beliefs about other skin tones within the race.
“There are all kinds of shades. You got the yellows, the light brights, the golden people[…] and then you know, you got the browns, the […] caramels […] like brown sugar, cinnamon,” says Shai, a fourth year education major at Norfolk State University.