Abstract

Meghan Burke defines colorism as “the allocation of privilege and disadvantage according to the lightness or darkness of one’s skin” (International Encyclopedia of the Social Social Sciences, 2nd ed.). The intraracial practice can be heightened in familial interactions. This collaborative autoethnography utilizes Alice Walker’s framework of womanism to explore the narratives of colorism in a mother–daughter relationship when the two do not share the same skin hue. Womanism instructs us to break our silence around practices that denigrate us and seek ways to survive and thrive in our blackness. Four specific incidents experienced by my adolescent daughter are shared to critique colorism and consider strategies for navigating this practice and sustaining a mother–daughter relationship.

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