Understanding light-skin privilege in relation to anti-Black racism: colourism, racism-induced stress and poor health outcomes amongst Black British women

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Abstract

Light-skin privilege is a term that is often used to describe the relative advantages that racially minoritized people who are socially recognised as “light-skinned” receive when navigating predominantly white spaces compared to their peers with darker-skin. This article considers the relationship between racism-induced stress and poor health outcomes amongst Black British women who self-identify as having light-, medium-, or dark-skin to examine the extent to which light-skin privilege mitigates the negative effects that racial discrimination has on health. Drawing on interviews conducted with 20 Black British women, I complicate the understanding that light-skin privilege invariably leads to better health outcomes for Black British women with light-skin by revealing how its operation at a systemic level can coincide with individual experiences of anti-Black racism that can, in turn, lead to poor health.
Original languageEnglish
JournalETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2023

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