Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Pan-African Studies

Degree Program

Pan-African Studies, MA

Committee Chair

Logan, Mawuena

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Swartz, Kristin

Committee Member

Swartz, Kristin

Committee Member

Webb, Sarah

Author's Keywords

colorism; African American; healing; internalized racism


This study examines the impact of experiences of colorism on the crime trajectory of African Americans. It is qualitative in nature and utilizes semi-structured interviews with incarcerated African American people. As previous research has shown the painful impact of colorism on its victims, this study ultimately seeks to unearth if that pain translates into crime commission and trajectory. The primary purpose of this research is to contribute to the existing body of research that seeks to support “colorism healing” in the African American community. If this indicates that colorism contributes to crime trajectory, such an outcome would have practical implications: more programs in schools, social work agencies, and Black community groups may be developed to address the problem.