White is Right, But Light-Skin is the Next Best Thing

by Shane Thomas The arrival of summer means a number of things: Intermittent sunshine, music festivals where at least one white person gets their cultural appropriation on; and superhero movies. Lots of superhero movies. Box-office takings are the engine of established Western cinema, and few things fuel that engine more than a superhero tale. Last week… Read More

Too Black to be Arab, too Arab to be Black

by Leena Habiballa Within every Sudanese diasporan is an unceasing internal dialogue about where we fit in the dominant racial order. Sudan is one of the most ethnically, culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse places on the African continent. It was also home to some of the most ancient civilisations in African memory. But today it… Read More

How colourism shapes UK anti-immigrant sentiment

by Amit Singh Within most societies there is a clear hierarchy of races, with whiteness being positioned at the top of the pile. The lighter skinned you are perceived to be the more inherent value you are deemed to have in all areas of life within western societies, and in many parts of the world that… Read More

Why is society’s idea of beauty so often either ‘white or light’?

by Amit Singh Since model Jourdan Dunn took to Instagram on the 2nd of January to announce that she will be gracing the cover of the February edition of British Vogue there has been much excitement from some quarters. The reason for this is because Dunn is the first solo black model to grace the… Read More

Visual Subversions: At the Intersection of Art and Identity

Stunning traditional henna designs on hands, backs and legs are the subject of artist Hina Ali‘s photo essay, exploring skin as a ‘repository of honour & canvass of oppression’. with Rakshi Rath The Artist’s Journey: I am a final year undergraduate, studying Fine Art for Design. My search for mediums of artistic expression during my studies has also coincided… Read More

My Body Is Not Your Images

What use is diversity in popular culture when it still conforms to narrow aesthetic norms? Sunny Singh discusses women’s “range of life stories, complete with joys and tragedies,” A renewed concern with the race politics of beauty has been fueling recent lively discussions about colourism, hair and the lack of representation of models of colour… Read More

India Reimagined

by Huma Munshi Ten years ago, I travelled to India with my parents to get married to a man I had met only a handful of times. This was not a marriage in any real sense of the word; it was done without my consent and despite my many protestations. I left that “marriage” but… Read More

Who Stole all the Black Women from Britain?

by Emma Dabiri There is no love left between a black man and a black woman. Take me for instance. I love white women and hate black women. It’s just in me so deep that I don’t even try to get it out of me anymore. I’d jump over ten nigger bitches just to get… Read More

“I Want One Just Like Me!” Black Dolls Expo

by Aisha Phoenix Ama Gueye, a former teacher and community activist, could be relaxing in her retirement. Instead she is using her savings to organise an annual black dolls exposition because she is so convinced that black dolls are imperative for the well-being of black children. Gueye felt retailers selling dolls were failing children of… Read More

Value Added Skin Colour

by Aisha Phoenix When I was four years old, I told my mother that I didn’t believe in God any more because I prayed to God to make me white and he didn’t. I had lots of black dolls, books with black protagonists and posters of prominent black people including Nina Simone and Thelonious Monk,… Read More