Green’s Dictionary of Slang

peola n.

[Bantu peula, skin]

(US black) a light-skinned black woman.

[US] ‘Hectic Harlem’ in N.Y. Amsterdam News 8 Feb, sect. 2: PEOLA. – A yaller woman.
[US]Cab Calloway New Hepsters Dict. in Calloway (1976) 259: peola (n.): a light person, almost white.
[US]Z.N. Hurston ‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in Novels and Stories (1995) 1003: Git out of my face, Jelly! Dat broad I seen you with wasn’t no pe-ola.
[US]C. Himes ‘The Something in a Colored Man’ in Coll. Stories (1990) 406: She was a tall Peola [...] light. bright, but not quite white.
[US]W. Randle ‘Payola’ in AS XXXVI:2 109: Slang is a large repository of words ending in -ola [...] : peola.
[UK](con. 1930s–50s) D. Wells Night People 118: Peola. A very light-skinned colored person.
[US]J.L. Gwaltney Drylongso 219: Course, we always did have some peolas, an’ everybody know most of these whitefolks is passin’.