Photographs by Aundre Larrow. Visit his portfolio site to see more of his work. So unless you processed your own images, they were developed to best complement light skin—no matter the skin tones or hues in your photos. Further, the dynamic range of Kodak film was biased toward lighter skin. This created a situation in which photos of people with darker skin, especially photos with both lighter and darker skin tones in them, were very difficult to expose properly. So color film in its early stages pretty much developed around trying to measure the image against white skin.
This study investigated perceptions of skin tone discrimination among adult African American men. Research suggests that through negative African American stereotypes, out-group members Whites perceive light-skinned African Americans favorably and dark-skinned African Americans unfavorably. However, it is unclear how treatment by in-group members other African Americans uniquely affects men. Using data from the Detroit Area Study and the National Survey of American Life, we investigated these relationships among African American men representing a wide range of socioeconomic groups. Light-skinned men perceived the least out-group discrimination while dark-skinned men perceived the most out-group discrimination.