The Journey of Skin Colour

I am posting an excerpt from an article I have written about the story behind diverse skin colors. My research is based entirely on the information provided in the links that follow. I have written the article for students of grades 5 and 6. If a teacher or any other person is interested, please email me to request the full article.

Information based on the following links:

The Journey of Skin Color

Skin colour is one of the many ways in which people look different from one another around the world. Some people have very dark brown skin, almost black and some have yellowish pink skin, almost light and some have skin colors that are in-between. Scientists have an explanation of why people have skins of different colors.

Thousands of years ago, there were people living only in one part of our gigantic Earth. It was the continent of Africa. There was no one living anywhere else in the world at that time. Africa lies on the equator, an imaginary line that runs around the centre of the Earth where the rays of the sun fall the shortest and hottest.

The rays of the sun or sunlight as we call it contains UV rays or radiation that can be good or bad for people depending on the length and strength of the UV rays. Sun’s rays fall at different lengths and strengths around the Earth. At shorter lengths such as at the equator, as in Africa, UV rays are strong and harmful. They destroy the body’s folic acid, which is needed for humans to grow. UV rays that fall at longer lengths and are less strong such as in countries away from the equator, help the body make calcium to build strong bones.

The earliest people who lived in Africa needed protection from the harmful UV rays. Their skin became dark and acted like a sunscreen…