The 21st Show

BLM And Colorism In Asian-American Communities


As America continues to confront racism, the Black Lives Matter movement has reignited important conversations about an issue often overlooked, and less talked about in other communities of color: colorism.  Similar to racism, but usually coming from within the same racial or ethnic group, colorism is the prejudice or discrimination due to the relative darkness of one's skin tone.

In recent news, Bollywood stars Priyanka Chopra and Sonam Kapoor came under fire after speaking out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement when many South Asians called them out for perpetuating skin-tone based standards of beauty themselves for having skin-care lines of whitening products and starring in ads for lightening creams.


Nikki Khanna, associate professor of sociology at the University of Vermont and author of Whiter: Asian American Women on Skin Color and Colorism

Yuki Yamazaki, a half-South Indian, half-Japanese psychotherapist studying the intersectionality of Asian Americans, microaggressions, and colorism at Fordham University

Janina Rojas, Filipina-American student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Clinical Psychology


Prepared for web by Zainab Qureshi

Help shape our coverage on The 21st by joining our texting group and answering weekly questions. To join, text “TALK” to 217-803-0730 or sign up with your phone number below: