Prejudice, discrimination, or “preferential treatment” based on skin colour within a racial or ethnic group, often using skin tone as a scale to determine an individual’s proximity to whiteness and assign privilege and power accordingly. For more, see Emeka, Greenidge, Krasner, and “Shadeism.”

Sources and Further Reading:

Emeka, Justin. “Playing with ‘Race’ in the New Millennium.” Casting a Movement : The Welcome Table Initiative, edited by Claire Syler and Daniel Banks, Routledge, 2019, pp. 36-48,

Greenidge, Kaitlyn. “Why Black People Discriminate Among Ourselves: The Toxic Legacy of Colorism.” The Guardian, 9 Aug. 2019,

Krasner, David. “Migration, Fragmentation and Identity: Zora Neale Hurston’s Color Struck and The Geography of the Harlem Renaissance.” A Beautiful Pageant: African American Theatre, Drama, and Performance in the Harlem Renaissance, 1910-1927. Palgrave, 2002, pp. 113-130.