From 1900 until about 1950 in the larger black neighborhoods of major American cities paper bag parties were common. The idea was that if your skin was not lighter than a brown paper bag you could not get in. This is one of the ways that light skinned black people (high yellow Negroes in the north or creoles in the south) attempted to isolate and distinguish themselves from their darker cousins. It was a kind of racism within racism only, in some ways more ugly because it pitted one people against itself.

Now thankfully the paper bag parties are gone though animosity still exists between light skinned and darker skinned black people in America. Much of this is due to the civil rights movement in the 60s and the Black is Beautiful movement in the 70s.

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