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African Americans: Colorism in Morrow v. IRS Litigation

Wilder, JeffriAnne
TheAmerican behavioral scientist 2018 v.62 no.14 pp. 1978-1987
African Americans, civil rights, color, income, litigation, working conditions
Walker v. Secretary of Treasury, IRS (Internal Revenue Service) served as a landmark case in shaping the legal context of color-based discrimination in the workplace. As the first case of colorism between Black Americans heard at the federal level, the Walker decision broadened the scope of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, treating race and color as two distinctive categories and protected classes. Beyond the legal significance of the ruling, Walker v. IRS carried important social and cultural implications that exposed the continuing significance of colorism in the post–Civil Rights Era. This article deals with an overview of the Walker v. IRS lawsuit, including a discussion of the overall impact of the ruling on the interpretation of Title VII and the inclusion of color(ism) in the application of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Subsequent cases of color bias in the workplace are explored, and the enduring impact of the Walker judgment is examined.