Light skin is just as “native” to Africa as dark skin. Light skin does not necessarily mean any “race mix” as many seem to assume.Light skin is part of the in-situ diversity common among Africans, Light-skinned people appear in West Africa as part of the NATIVE , the so-called “Red Igbo” for example. Africans have the highest built-in skin diversity in the world.
Human skin color diversity is highest in sub-Saharan African populations.
Previous studies of genetic and craniometric traits have found higher levels of within-population diversity in sub-Saharan Africa compared to other geographic regions. This study examines regional differences in within-population diversity of human skin color. Published data on skin reflectance were collected for 98 male samples from eight geographic regions: sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Europe, West Asia, Southwest Asia, South Asia, Australasia, and the New World. Regional differences in local within-population diversity were examined using two measures of variability: the sample variance and the sample coefficient of variation. For both measures, the average level of within-population diversity is higher in sub-Saharan Africa than in other geographic regions. This difference persists even after adjusting for a correlation between within-population diversity and distance from the equator. Though affected by natural selection, skin color variation shows the same pattern of higher African diversity as found with other traits.