Yellow Bone Person

Yellow Bone Person: What Does it Mean?

When it comes to the topic of racial classification, many terms are used to describe the color of someone’s skin. People of African descent are often grouped into black, brown, or dark skin categories, but what about those with lighter skin tone? One term that has gained popularity in recent years is “yellow bone.” In this article, we will explore the meaning of yellow bone, its origin, and how it has evolved in contemporary society.

What is a Yellow Bone?

The term “yellow bone” is used to describe a person of African descent with a light skin tone. It is often associated with having yellow or golden undertones, hence the name yellow bone. This term has been used by people of African descent, primarily in the United States, as a form of self-identification. It is important to note that not all people find the term appropriate or favorable as some feel it can be used to exclude or diminish within the Black community.

Where did the term Yellow Bone come from?

The origin of the term “yellow bone” is unclear. However, it is believed to have roots in South Africa, where the term “yellow-bones” describes a mixed-race person of European and African descent. The term “yellow-bones” gradually evolved to “yellow bone” in African American culture in the US. Although the term “yellow bone” was initially used to describe mixed-race individuals, it is now commonly used to describe individuals of any black racial background with lighter skin tones.

Why is the Term Yellow Bone Popular?

In the African American community, there is a preference for light skin tones, especially among women. This preference can be attributed to colorism, a form of discrimination based on skin color that is prevalent in many societies globally. In some cases, people with lighter skin tones tend to occupy a higher socioeconomic status, while people with darker skin tones tend to occupy lower socioeconomic status. Consequently, having lighter skin is associated with notions of privilege, beauty, and success, and the term yellow bone is used to describe individuals with these characteristics.

Is the Term Yellow Bone Offensive?

The use of the term yellow bone has been a source of controversy within the African American community. Some people consider it derogatory and covertly divisive, as it can create a hierarchy of skin tone within the community. Others argue that it is a form of self-identification and a celebration of lighter skin tones among black people.


While the term “yellow bone” has gained prominence over the years, it is important to remember that racial classification based on skin color is a complex and sensitive issue. It is crucial to understand that even within the Black community, there is diversity in skin color, and no one skin tone should be prioritized above the others. Ultimately, skin color should not be used to justify social inequality, and embracing the beauty of all skin tones is crucial for progress and unity.

Keywords: Yellow Bone Person, African descent, skin color, light skin tone, self-identification, colorism, prefer lighter skin, hierarchy of skin tone, Black community.