Skin speaks. It is not just organic matter but the most visible signifier of racial difference. This book looks at what Black lighter skin means in our 21st century ‘post-race’ world, through the prism of the cross-gender/sexuality/race/class/age/region practice of shade shifting through Skin Bleaching/lightening/toning. Skin bleaching analyses practices, ideologies and products as it looks at bleachers, lighteners, and toners’ socio-political critique of the racialized gender libidinal economy of Black skin, as well as the political economy of racism, the importance of colourism in perpetuating the practice, and skin bleaching as decolonizing practice. The decolonial analysis speaks against the givens of Black self-hatred, low self-esteem or desire to be white because we are long past Fanon’s (1986) ‘mimic (wo)men’ of colonialism.


African Descent White Supremacy Black Skin Colonial Society Racial Purity 
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Copyright information

© Shirley Anne Tate 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirley Anne Tate
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsUK

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