I think you could easily replace shameful with "cunning" here and it makes plenty of sense to me. Changing your attributes to get the better of a society that is unfair. Until you start renouncing and snubbing your family I wouldn't see any shame.
I get what you're saying, but it still doesn't make any sense-the arseholes in society are forcing dark-skinned folks to try to assimilate by denigrating who they are as people so they can fit in with whites. These folks shouldn't have to be "cunning" to fit in-they should be accepted for who they are.