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August 5, 1961

The Colour of the Skin in Human Relations

JAMA. 1961;177(5):352. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040310070031

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Abstract

It is not unusual for a dermatologist to concern himself with the subject of skin color. It is unusual, however, for that concern to extend beyond a consideration of biochemical, anatomical, and physiological phenomena into the realm of the role played by skin color in the important field of human relations. In this pocketsized, paper-covered monograph, Simons has packed a wealth of information—a mixture of the historical, philosophical, factual, and conjectural. In an effort to stimulate interest in the long-neglected aspect of the part that skin color plays in human life—in groupings within the human race (racial problem)—he cites the significance of such things as the color bar, shade bar, hair bar, group solidarity, mixed races, caste systems, status symbols, and their resultant cultural and psychological conflicts. Religion, slavery, tattoos, anthropological and ethnological aspects, prejudice, discrimination, and xenophobia are all brought into pertinent and related discussion, and the point is

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