You wouldn’t be faulted for thinking that having an African-American family in the White House would change how Black children view race and skin tone. Sadly, child opinions of skin color haven’t changed as drastically as we’d like in the last 40 years, according to a study conducted by Anderson Cooper for a special called “Black or White: Kids on Race” airing on “AC 360” on CNN this week. Sixty years after the infamous doll tests conducted by African-American psychologists Mamie and Kenneth Clark in which Black children showed that they overwhelmingly preferred White dolls, Black children still think lighter skin is more appealing. In the special, Cooper interviews Black and White children about their perceptions of race. Surprisingly, when asked what skin color they would prefer, the Black children chose drawings of dolls with lighter skin. “I just don’t like the way brown looks, because the way brown looks is really nasty for some reason,” says one of the little girls while pointing to her own skin color. ESSENCE Magazine Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt-Murray will join Cooper and CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien to discuss this disturbing trend. “Black or White: Kids on Race” airs tonight at 10pm on “AC 360”
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