COMP 309
Complexion Complexities: Colorism in Literature, Lyrics & Everyday Life Fall 2014
Division I
Cross-listed COMP 309 / AFR 302
This is not the current course catalog

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Often viewed as the “dirty laundry” of the Black American past, colorism, or skin color bias, is a pervasive force within modern global society. Although it is not a new issue, its impact is far reaching and continues to have damaging effects on people of color-especially members within the African Diaspora. From skin bleaching creams like “Whitenicious” to rap music’s fetishization of light-skinned women, colorism is a very real and present issue affecting Black life. From the literary works of Wallace Thurman and Toni Morrison, to the lyrics of blues crooner Big Bill Broonzy and rapper Lil Wayne, we will analyze the many ways that the politics of color influence standards of beauty and attractiveness, perceptions of behavior and criminality, and economic attainment and stability.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 1971
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation in this course will be based upon class participation, response papers, one 6- to 8-page paper, and a formal class presentation
Prerequisites: none
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 309 Division I AFR 302 Division II

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