MTV Host Says Kanye West Perpetuates Light-Skin Privilege

Franchesca Ramsey, the host of MTV’s YouTube series Decoded, created a video explaining the term light-skin privilege. According to Ramsey, light-skin racial/ethnic minorities experience certain advantages based on their proximity to ‘whiteness.’ To support her opinion, Ramsey states that most black pop stars are of a lighter skin tone. She claims that African-Americans with lighter skin, straighter hair, and more Eurocentric features have an easier time breaking down systematic barriers that oppress them.

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Ramsey continues by explaining the origins of light-skin privilege, stating that it started during slavery when lighter-skin African-American slaves were given better working conditions than their darker-skin counterparts. In addition, Ramsey argues that many black Americans perpetuate colorism, citing “Angry Black Woman” and “Sassy Black Friend” to support her argument. In fact, Ramsey even accuses Kanye West of perpetuating colorism because he once held a casting for only multiracial women.


Next, Ramsey cites a Harvard University study that found that darker-skin blacks have lower socioeconomic status, more punitive relationships with the criminal justice system, diminished prestige, and less likelihood of holding elected office than their lighter-skin counterparts. However, Ramsey fails to state whether these findings took into account differences in education and/or violent crime rates.

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Ramsey concludes by encouraging lighter-skin racial/ethnic minorities to help fight colorism within their communities.

Other episodes of Decoded include titles such as…

Watch Franchesca explain “light-skin privilege” below!

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