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Matthew Harrison Speaks on Colorism
Posted: Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mr. Matthew Harrison, a PhD student at the University of Georgia in the field of Industrial Organizational Psychology, along with his faculty supervisor, Kecia Thomas, a professor of Applied Psychology and acting director of UGA's Institute for African American Studies, has zeroed in on the issue of colourism in the workplace. Mr. Harrison has determined in his research that colour discrimination caused people with lighter skin tones to get preferential treatment over those with darker skin tones in the areas of hiring and promotion in the work system. Such research, in this regard, is very useful in understanding the prospects of job applicants in the United States and indeed all over the world in getting employment and promotion based on the colour of their skins.

More detail of the information provided in the interview was presented at the 66th annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Atlanta and can also be seen in the release from the University of Georgia, "Skin tone more important than educational background for African Americans seeking jobs".

In the interview, Mr. Harrison provides critical views showing that the issue of colourism is a serious one and should be considered before the selection of workers in a work environment. He notes the fact that employers tend to select those of lighter tones before those of darker tones, even with equivalent or higher qualifications, which affects the darkest skin people the most and questions the principle of meritocracy in the workplace.

Mr. Harrison describes this and more in detail below.
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