When one looks at the history of African Americans in America one has to look at the way in which they were brought into America. The original fathers and mothers that came to America were brought here for the purpose of slavery. One of the benefits that the masters took upon themselves to exercise was to have sexual relations with the female slaves.
The offspring of the original females that mated were lighter than the previous group. Most Masters would then place the lighter slaves in the homes as servants. However, they also mated with the lighter slaves resulting in even lighter skinned children. The children of the masters often had a very difficult life as they were not at all appreciated by the Master’s Wives and children.
Among other black people they were considered to be uppity or what came to be called "high yellow," and other names. The problems persisted when the people in this group were more accepted by white communities later on. Black children had not been able to feel good about them because of the way they were perceived by whites. They established a sense of identity as white being the good thing. This meant a child closer to white seemed to be better. Studies performed in the 1960's demonstrated this when a group of black children were given a chance to chose a doll and they chose the white doll remaking this is the good one.
Times have changed a lot since those days and I am very pleased that the young black men and women that I teach have a sense of pride in themselves. It has been a long time coming for a people who were not allowed to assimilate into America but rather had to carve their own place in the country after years of slavery and prejudice.