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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

"yellow gals"
"golden-skinned slave girls"
"tawny-skinned maids"
"midnight"
"stove-pipe"

-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:

     


- from Amazon:


Social Differences Among the Lighter Skinned and Darker Skinned Blacks (Literary Digest, 1922)

Social Differences Among the Lighter Skinned and Darker Skinned Blacks (Literary Digest, 1922)

Social Differences Among the Lighter Skinned and Darker Skinned Blacks (Literary Digest, 1922)

Social Differences Among the Lighter Skinned and Darker Skinned Blacks (Literary Digest, 1922)

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