By Maxine Leeds Craig
"Black is Beautiful!" The phrases have been the exuberant rallying cry of a new release of black girls who threw away their straightening combs and followed a proud new sort they known as the Afro. The Afro, as worn such a lot famously via Angela Davis, grew to become a veritable icon of the Sixties.Although the recent attractiveness criteria appeared to come up in a single day, they really had deep roots inside of black groups. Tracing her tale to 1891, while a black newspaper introduced a competition to discover the main attractive girl of the race, Maxine Leeds Craig records how black girls have negotiated the intersection of race, classification, politics, and private visual appeal of their lives. Craig takes the reader from good looks parlors within the Nineteen Forties to overdue evening political conferences within the Sixties to illustrate the strong effect of social routine at the event of way of life. With assets starting from oral histories of Civil Rights and Black strength stream activists and males and females who stood at the sidelines to black well known magazines and the black move press, Ain't I a attractiveness Queen? will fascinate these drawn to attractiveness tradition, gender, category, and the dynamics of race and social hobbies.
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Extra info for Ain't I A Beauty Queen?: Black Women, Beauty and the Politics of Race
When girls matured into young women, they encountered color prejudices in dating. Male supremacy operated in black communities no less than in the larger society. As women waited to be asked to dance, to be invited on a date, or to receive affection from men, they were vulnerable to and dependent on male assessments of their beauty. More often than not, male choices were shaped by racialized standards of beauty. Pearl Marsh lamented that a darkskinned woman had to wait until the end of the semester to get a date at the black college she attended in Huntsville, Alabama: “We always laughed in my Contexts for the Emergence of “Black Is Beautiful” 29 dorm that the ﬁrst month of school really light-skinned girls got dates.
These studies found that, despite answers recorded in the attitude surveys just outlined, lighter skin brought concrete advantages. The majority of studies of the effects of skin color on the life chances of black women has focused on one aspect of life: marriage. 63 Light skin allowed African American, blue-collar men to marry women from white-collar backgrounds and women from blue-collar backgrounds to marry white-collar men. 64 With regard to marriage, the emerging Black Power Movement lessened the stigma of dark skin for men, yet no similar trend was evident for darkskinned women.
Although the Clarks’ study was not the ﬁrst that purported to study Negro self-esteem, its inﬂuence far outpaced any studies that preceded it. ”51 These ﬁndings were accepted by social scientists of the 1950s as proof of black self-hatred and were cited in the 38 Ain’t I a Beauty Queen? 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka as evidence of the psychological destruction wrought by segregation. ”52 The pathos of the Clarks’ ﬁndings compelled psychologists to use picture and doll racial preference tests with young children again and again.
Ain't I A Beauty Queen?: Black Women, Beauty and the Politics of Race by Maxine Leeds Craig