Brown Paper Bag Test 3 by Beth Consetta Rubel

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Chalk Pastel, Gouache, Acrylic on brown paper bag.

This is meant to be worn as a mask:

Brown Paper Bag Test:

An actual test, along with the so-called ruler test in common use in the the early 1900s among upper class Black American societies and families to determine if a Black person was sufficiently white to gain admittance or acceptance. If your skin was darker than a brown paper bag, you did not merit inclusion. Thousands of Black institutions including the nation’s most eminent Black fraternity — Phi Alpha Phi, Howard University, and numerous church and civic groups all practiced this discrimination. The practice has 19th Century antecedents with the Blue Blood Society and has not totally died out.


racism, test, race, society, discrimination, paper bag, blue blood, colorism, aunt jemima

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