Colorism is a form of black-on-black racism, based on skin-tone, exemplified in terms such as "high yellow" (sometimes written and/or pronounced as "high yaller") as well as the "brown paper bag test". There seems to be an implicit calculus behind this belief that makes the goodness of the individual inversely related to the darkness of his/her skin.
The brown paper bag test was a ritual once practiced by certain African-American sororities and fraternities who discriminated against people who were "too black". That is, these groups would not let anyone into the sorority or fraternity whose skin tone was darker than a paper bag. Spike Lee's film School Daze satirizes this practice.
- The paper bag test, an editorial by Bill Maxwell about blacks discriminating against blacks, St. Petersburg Times, August 31, 2003, discusses the history of the test.