Prof. Norwood Will Lead Panel Discussion of Her New Book on January 29

Kim Norwood, professor of law and professor of African & African American Studies, will lead a panel discussion of her new book, Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias and the Myth of a Postracial America, at 4:00 p.m., January 29, in Olin Library’s Gingko Room. Joining Norwood will be two contributors to the book, Vetta S. Thompson, professor in the Brown School, and Richard Harvey, professor of psychology at Saint Louis University. Books will be available for sale and signing at the event.  

Color Matters documents and examines colorism—the preference, even among people of color, for lighter skin. As the book explains, colorism is pervasive in all cultures, from Jamaica to the Philippines to Europe to the United States. Specifically, white imagery is omnipresent and advanced as supreme. The book also challenges the belief that skin color no longer matters in a “postracial America.” 

“Societies are not colorblind,” Norwood says. “We live in a very colored world that is built upon a color caste system where dark people are relegated to life at the lowest levels of society. And the color caste is poised to become sharper, clearer, and more impenetrable. We hope to add our voices to the call toward the eradication of this growing form of discrimination.”

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