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Process diary

Mer Kalo

Wyndham College

Artwork title
The brown paper bag test
HSC year
Expressive form
Artist’s statement

‘The brown paper bag test’ was a form of racial discrimination used in the 20th century by social institutions such as universities, colleges and places of education, fraternities, night clubs and churches frequented by many African-Americans. It compared an individual’s skin tone to the colour of a brown paper bag. Only those with a skin colour that matched or was lighter than a brown paper bag were allowed admission, participation or membership privileges. The test has more recently been used to reference larger issues of class and social stratifications within the African-American population.

Influencing artists:
Faith Ringgold