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Ain't I a Beauty Queen?Black Women, Beauty, and the Politics of Race$
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Maxine Craig

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195152623

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152623.001.0001

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Contexts for the Emergence of “Black Is Beautiful”

Contexts for the Emergence of “Black Is Beautiful”

(p.23) Chapter Two: Contexts for the Emergence of “Black Is Beautiful”
Ain't I a Beauty Queen?

Maxine Leeds Craig

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the four aspects of African American life that formed the sociocultural context in which new standards of beauty emerged during the period under discussion: the disparagement of black women in dominant cultural images; an African American discourse of race and respectability; the broad acceptance of theories of black self-hatred; and and the close connection between social class and skin tone within black communities. These four social contexts made beauty something worth fighting about and shaped the internal conflicts that would arise within black communities about the meaning of black and beautiful.

Keywords:   African Americans, beauty, black women, skin tone, black self-hatred, social class

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