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Brown BeautyColor, Sex, and Race from the Harlem Renaissance to World War II$
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Laila Haidarali

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479875108

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479875108.001.0001

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(p.261) Epilogue
Brown Beauty

Laila Haidarali

NYU Press

This epilogue reemphasizes the arguments in the book. Brown-skin models acquired significant social status as African American women on an expanded global stage between 1945 and 1954—a short but critical period that marked the end of World War II, the hardening lines of Cold War politics, and the significant victory of Brown v. Board of Education that, in 1954, made segregation illegal in public schools. Indeed, during this short period and turning tide, a powerful iconography of beautiful brown women emerged to represent African-descended people in the United States by recasting beauty as a democratic right and function. Brown beauty was formalized, both at home and abroad, as a consumerist symbol of women’s successful negotiation of the trials of race, sex, and womanhood in the postwar nation, still half-segregated.

Keywords:   womanhood, Brown v Board of Education, World War II, African American women, Cold War politics, beauty, brown-skin models

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