Racial Socialization, Black Identity Transactions, Beauty and Skin Bleaching

20 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2014 Last revised: 30 Mar 2014

Date Written: January 12, 2014


This article theoretically integrates Nigrescence theory and the model of Black Identity Transactions by using them to explicate skin bleaching. Blacks including skin bleachers are at various stages of Nigrescence (pre-encounter, encounter, immersion-emersion and internalization) or the process of becoming black. The majority of skin bleachers’ search for beauty occurs because of their miseducated identity in the pre-encounter stage of black identity development. Skin bleachers transact their miseducated identity by bonding and bridging with people that complement their modified aesthetic physicality and buffering against people who insult them. The validators of the skin bleachers are also at the pre-encounter stage of blackness because they justify the skin bleachers’ rejection of Afrocentricity with Eurocentric values. The skin bleachers and their validators share similar values. However, the fiercest critics with opposite values at the immersion-emersion stage see whiteness as inferior including the bleached skin and blackness as superior. The mature critics of the skin bleachers such as the Rastafarians among others are at the internalization stage of blackness. These critics seek to empower skin bleachers by reeducating them about the beauty of blackness and the medical dangers associated with skin bleaching. Black identity transactions occur in all stages of Nigrescence and the two can be theoretically integrated as the discussion of skin bleaching reveals.

Keywords: Nigrescence, Black identity transactions, skin bleaching, theoretical inetgration

Suggested Citation

Charles, Christopher, Racial Socialization, Black Identity Transactions, Beauty and Skin Bleaching (January 12, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2378112 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2378112

Christopher Charles (Contact Author)

University of the West Indies ( email )

Kingston 7
Mona, Mona Kingston 7

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