Dr. Petra A. Robinson in Jamaica's oldest newspaper


The School of Leadership & Human Resource Development (SLHRD) is pleased to highlight the work of SLHRD Assistant Professor, Dr. Petra A. Robinson, whose dissertation work received special mention in the Sunday edition of The Gleaner, Jamaica's oldest newspaper.

Dr. Robinson's dissertation work, titled "Skin Bleaching in Jamaica: A Colonial Legacy," focused on issues related to colorism and the skin bleaching phenomenon.

INegril, Jamaican The Gleaner's column titled "How to be Black in Negril," University of the West Indies Professor of Literacy and Cultural Studies Dr. Carolyn Cooper ponders on her brief experience with a local in Negril, Jamaica, a small beach resort town, and Jamaican dancehall reggae artist Vybz Kartel's words on black pride, skin alteration, and bleaching. 

Dr. Cooper references Dr. Robinson's work, stating, "Dr. Petra Robinson, a Jamaican educator, completed her PhD dissertation on Skin Bleaching In Jamaica: A Colonial Legacy at Texas A&M University in 2011. She highlights the fact that skin bleaching is a global issue. She quotes a Japanese proverb, 'White skin makes up for seven defects'."

Further, Dr. Cooper offered high praise for Dr. Robinson's work, suggesting, "Dr. Robinson's brilliant dissertation should be published. And it ought to be required reading in all Jamaican schools."

The purpose of Dr. Robinson’s study was to examine the psychological and socio-cultural factors that influence the practice of skin bleaching in the postcolonial society of Jamaica. In her qualitative research study, set in Kingston Jamaica, she used basic interpretive approach, in-depth, face-to-face interviews with a retailer of bleaching products, a local dermatologist, a Ministry of Health official, six male, and six female bleachers. She found that there is a bias in Jamaica for light skin over dark skin and these values are taught in non-formal and informal ways from very early in life. 

You can read her dissertation here or read The Gleaner's article here.

Dr. Robinson's research areas of expertise are:

  • colorism
  • critical non-normative literacies
  • lifelong learning and professional development
  • social justice, diversity, and equity in higher and adult education.

She has been teaching at LSU since 2013. Along with being an Assistant Professor, she is the Advisor for students in the LSU Online MSc Human Resource Education and Leadership Development and MSc. Workforce Development programs.

SLHRD is very proud of Dr. Robinson and of the impact her work is making internationally!



The LSU School of Leadership & Human Resource Development (SLHRD) offers programs dedicated to producing world class practitioners, leaders, and instructors in Leadership and Human Resource Development.

Visit the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development at www.lsu.edu/chse/shrewd

About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. Formed in 2012, CHSE brings together programs and capitalizes on individual strengths to create a dynamic new college that addresses the socially significant issues we face as a state and nation. The College is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 977 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is continually working to improve its programs.

Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education at www.lsu.edu/chse