The brochures is intended to be in high schools with a decent minority population. Firstly, I chose high schools because I believe that the content and vocabulary of this brochure may be a bit too much for middle and elementary students. I feel that high schoolers were also a good audience to target because they are at that age where they begin to develop a true sense of who they are. It’s important to empower them and give them as much knowledge in this stage as possible because if not, hearing the negativity and division that comes with colorism can be detrimental to their self-esteem now and later in life. I also wanted to target a school with a decent minority population because this is a issue that is within minority communities.
I began by explaining what colorism is and how it emerged. I believe that this will catch their eye and really make an impact on them because black people love to do anything that evolves us further away from a mindset that was bestowed upon us during slavery. Not only will this help engage the reader to go further into the packet but it will give them a key piece of information that they can remember and go on to share with others.
Next, I explain why colorism matters. This is important because this may be some students first time hearing about colorism. And if it does not directly affect them, they may not understand why it is important. This piece of the packet is to present some information to help the reader have a sense of solidarity, so they can see how it affects other people of their community. The next section on representation is also to bring feelings of solidarity amongst readers. Once a person whom does not suffer from the effects of colorism reads that part, they can reflect and think about all of the times where they have noticed the lack of representation of darker skinned people in the media. This gets their mind thinking about other places where they have seen underrepresentation of darker skinned individuals.
I thought it was important to highlight the dangers of colorism mainly because dangers do exist. It’s important to let the readers know that colorism isn’t something that simply ‘hurts somebody’s feelings’. It can have damaging and lasting effects. I chose to put this information further down because if the readers interest is not peeked by the origin of colorism, why it matters, and the underrepresentation, then receiving the knowledge about the serious dangers of colorism could spark their interest.
The quiz was not only there to test the individual’s knowledge about colorism, but it brought forward information that may not be so obvious. After answering some of these questions, they may be shocked to learn the real answer. This adds to the “wow” effect. I can just picture someone saying, “Wow, I didn’t know that” after learning a correct answer to this quiz. The “What can you do?” section is there to encourage students to take action. Sometimes students want to get involved, and they want to help, but don’t know how. Even for the more shy students, or students that don’t want to be too involved, a suggestion was to simply hang the attached flyer in a meaningful place.
Lastly, the testimonials were my favorite part. This really gives some justification to the topic. Having people read real people’s perceptions of colorism and how it has effected them really brings this brochure home, in my opinion. It’s one thing to read general information and take quizzes, but to read someone’s real feelings on the topic really makes it relatable and more serious. I teared up reading some of their statements because it was hurtful that these people felt that way. I hope my readers have that same type of connection with the personal statements. Some may even relate and know that they are not alone with the way that they are feeling.
Keyondra Wilson is studying Applied Sociology at Old Dominion University. She is particularly interested in inequalities in race and social class. She works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Social Science Research Center at Old Dominion University. Her life goal is to someday own her own charity specializing in helping disadvantaged individuals and families. Her life motto is, “Don’t Survive. Thrive.”