“Blacker-Than-Blue Black”

Artist and Glimpse contributor, Lauren Cross, is launching a documentary video project titled The Skin Quilt Project that uses the rich tradition of quilting to talk about issues of colorism (prejudice on the basis of skin-tone) within the African-American community. She hopes that the Skin Quilt Project will become a hub and safe-space for discussion about the realities and social distortions rooted in variations in skin color expressed in such colloqualisms as “high yellow” and “blacker-than-blue black.”

Oddly, a statistic released by the BBC in 2001 suggests white people are slowly becoming the minority figure – at least in numbers – in the U.S., making up less than 50% of the population in 100 of the largest U.S. cities. It is likely that the release of the 2010 U.S. census will bear similar results, so what is this tension that Ms. Cross talks about and is so realistically felt across the board?

Posted above is a video preview for Lauren Cross’ documentary The Skin Quilt. Posted below is a montage of interviews from Kiri Davis’ documentary, where young women discuss some of the issues that Ms. Cross will also tackle in her film. Watch for Ms. Cross’ essay about the genesis of The Skin Quilt Project in Glimpse vol 2.3, Color which will be released later this month.

Additionally, if you’re interested in this topic, you might enjoy Caucasia, a coming-of-age novel by Danzy Senna chronicling the life of a biracial family separated by issues of colorism in the 1970s.

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