Same Family, Different Colors

On October 4, 2016 Beacon Press released my fourth book, Same Family, Different Colors: Confronting Colorism in America’s Diverse Families. This book is truly a passion project, a subject near and dear to my heart, but also one that explores a topic that deserves national attention.

SFDC Cover
Colorism comes out of the closet with my new book.

Same Family, Different Colors examines how skin color differences affect family dynamics within the nuclear family. Divided into four chapters, the book covers skin color politics in African American, Latino, Asian American and Mixed Race families. Each chapter begins with a historical overview of how color came to matter in each of these unique ethnic groups and then we hear the intimate stories of people who have lived on, in and tangled up in the color line within their own homes. Also included in this work are the voices of academics and pop culture pundits who study colorism and color bias. My own personal story is also interwoven into these pages, as I am the mother of three children with three different skin tones.

Here’s what people are saying about Same Family, Different Colors:

This thoughtful, honest, historically textured and valuable book offers a detailed and current syllabus of work on the social and cultural meanings of colorism around the world and brings colorism ‘out of the closet.'” – The New York Times

Georgetown professor and author, Michael Eric Dyson said:
Same Family, Different Colors is the first book on colorism to take us inside African American, Latino, Asian, and interracial families as they speak candidly about how the politics of skin color shape their family dynamics and lives. Lori Tharps explores this taboo and urgent subject with courage, vision, and great sensitivity.”

Novelist Mat Johnson said:
Colorism is a topic people of color are reluctant to talk about, but Lori L. Tharps investigates this difficult subject with grace, humility, and inclusiveness. Through historical context and frank personal stories, Same Family, Different Colors creates a powerful mediation on what so often goes unsaid even in the closest of families. With its fascinating multicultural focus, there’s something here for everyone to learn about themselves, and others.”

To continue the conversation about color, colorism and family dynamics, please visit the Same Family, Different Colors website at

Same Family, Different Colors is available for purchase at the following  outlets:


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