Yo, darkies being idiots

Date: January 1, 1970
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The article talks about the use of skin lighteners by black men, and is accompanied by a photo of naked woman. It argues that black is a beautiful skin colour and people should be proud to be born with the skin they have.

This article may be used to:
1.  Demonstrate a classic example of naked women being used to sell stories.
2.  Demonstrate subtle stereotypical expectations of men and women.
3.  Promote discussion around racial identities.
4.  Raise discussions about the use of appropriate language in media.

Trainer’s notes

It Is not at all clear why an image of a naked woman was chosen to accompany the article, which is all about men and skin colour. The men (Congolese in this case) have made headlines because they use skin lightning creams, one wonders that had it women using they would have gotten such publicity. The fact that the writer talks of black men using skin lightening creams and yet use a picture of a fair-skinned woman also seems to suggest that the writer is implying that it is ok or men should be dark skinned while women should be fair skinned. It is also interesting how the writer challenges blacks to embrace their dark complexion and yet use a picture of a fair skinned woman. Another aspect is the use of the word "darkies," considered to be a derogatory term.
Discussion Questions
1.  Pick out and discuss the conflicting messages being sent out by the article
2.  Rather than completely discouraging the use of skin lightning creams, the writer seems to be encouraging their use if they are going to be used evenly. Discuss.
3.  Look at the image used? What could be the reason for using such an image used?
4.  Look at the language and the picture used, what is it saying?
5.  Do media tend to use light skinned women in photos and advertisements? Why ?
6.  Is the writers use if the wor "darkies" acceptable ?

Training Exercises
Purchase selection of newspapers and magazines. Are there any trends in the skin tone of black models and images?
Conduct a survey on what skin tope people perceive as the most appealing. Analyse the answers and their cultural context.
Other training resources
Picture our lives: Gender and images
Business Unusual: Gender and the economy

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