The varying shades of skin color found among African-Americans has been, and still is, a sensitive topic, and it was addressed in 1922 with some wit by an African-American journalist.
The attached article is good deal of fun to read and speaks of a social structure that, we prefer to think, is gone with the wind. Words appear in this article that seem queer to us in the digital age; there is much talk of
"golden-skinned slave girls"
-all originating from African-American verses and songs. The author of this digest summed up the topic just so:
"Like all indications of caste, they require some tradition and enough of a leisure class or a class having genteel employment to entertain itself. A little more race pride is the remedy."
Posted below are the socioligical observations of Donald Young as they appeared in his 1932 study (available at Amazon), American Minority Peoples: