Brown paper bag tests originated during the centuries of African enslavement in the Americas and were used as a way of separating the light from the dark. At first, the tests were used to determine which Africans would work in the fields and which would work in the masters' houses. Those whose skin was lighter than the brown paper bag were placed indoors. Those whose skin was darker than the brown paper bag were placed outdoors. After slavery this practice was administered by Blacks and Whites during the process of seeking employment, admission to black colleges and social clubs. In some form, it is still practiced today.

 

Keith+Mendi Obadike