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Advertisement for "Kashmir Girl" hair and skin products, 1919.

This ad appeared repeatedly in The Crisis during the 1920s, and is representative of advertisements for products which assisted users to their change appearance. Such products were popular in the early 20th century and continue to be popular today.

Du bois was a fair skinned, straight haired person of color, and not unaware that physical appearance was as an important determinant of social status in this country. It would not be until the black power movement of the 1960s that serious challenges to this long standing view would be mounted.