Exlpain the theme of racism in The Skin I'm In.

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In this novel, the theme of colorism within racial attitudes is more prominent than racism against a different race. Maleeka, the protagonist , is a very dark-skinned African American seventh-grade girl. Most of her fellow students are also African American, so their antagonism toward her is not based on race....

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In this novel, the theme of colorism within racial attitudes is more prominent than racism against a different race. Maleeka, the protagonist, is a very dark-skinned African American seventh-grade girl. Most of her fellow students are also African American, so their antagonism toward her is not based on race. However, she is mistreated for several reasons. Maleeka is a high achiever academically, so one girl becomes a false friend in order to manipulate her into cheating for her. Maleeka’s skin is much darker than most of the others, who assess each other based on skin tone. One of the boys, John-John, has internalized that colorist discrimination; although his skin is about the same tone as Maleeka’s, he also mocks her for being dark.

This book was published more than 20 years ago, in 1998. Colorism or complexion bias remains a problem, as authors in several 21st-century publications have noted.

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Most people view racism as two ethnic groups that oppose each other. Within a racial group, that same prejudice can rear its ugly head as well. Among the Chinese, a woman with big feet was mocked and scorned. Within the African Americans, the darkness of one's skin was the basis for that racism. Light colored features were considered beautiful. The darker one's skin, the more ugly the person was considered. Along with ugly went stupid. If you were to look at the faces of all the African American actors in the U.S., you would notice the majority of them have lighter skin tone. Until the movie Precious came along, few dark skinned African Americans were cast in leading roles. They were typecast as criminals or lower intelligence people. The theme of accepting yourself by virtue of your strengths and not appearance is a good lesson for all people.

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