Type of Work

Research Paper

Publication Date



Though decades of scholarly literature have examined racial discrimination against Black folx by non-Hispanic whites, much remains unknown about anti-Blackness and its influence on a skin tone stratification system, or colorism, within the Latinx community. To investigate how racism and colorism are intrinsically linked, this study examines how Latinx folx self-identify, interact socially, and define race. As many as 22 interviews were conducted to discuss the interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships respondents had with race. From these interviews, I gather three main findings: 1) Latinx people have a difficult time defining “race” both individually and collectively, and as a result, struggle to self-identify; 2) Self-identification is influenced by colorism, a skin tone hierarchy that demonizes darkness and Blackness, and results in Latinx individuals refusing to identify as Black; 3) The understanding of racial identification is impacted by the absence of a concrete definition for “race,” the implementation of a limited racial binary, and lack of conversations regarding racism in the Latinx community. By unpacking the often coded anti-Blackness present in the Latinx community, we can move towards disrupting racial hierarchies that invade one’s educational attainment, job opportunities, residential spaces, and psychological well-being.

Hamilton Areas of Study

Sociology, Women's Studies

Hamilton Sponsoring Organization

Levitt Public Affairs Center

Hamilton Scholarship Series

Levitt Summer Research Fellowship

Hamilton Faculty Advisor

Matthew Grace