Documentary “Dark Girls” Reveals Black(er) Girls Feelings

Documentary "Dark Girls" Reveals Black(er) Girls Feelings | June's Journal image 3

“Dark Girls”
is set to premier this month. ¬†At the International Black Film Festival. ¬†In Nashville. ¬†It’s a documentary. ¬†By Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry.

This movie “explores the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color—particularly dark skinned women, outside of and within the Black American culture.”

Wow. I’m glad this movie is being made for so many reasons. ¬†As someone online put it, “What a necessary discourse.” ¬† To many, the “shade of blackness” (dark vs. light) is a big deal within the Black culture. ¬† Just never talked about on a scale like this. ¬†This movie will address some common self-esteem issues that more than a few darker skinned women face. ¬†And it’s real.

Dark Girls Movie Poster

I vividly recall a conversation I had once with a friend of mine. She is young. College educated. Had a wonderful personality. ¬†And, in my opinion, she was drop dead gorgeous. ¬†It amazed me to discover that she thought she was very ugly. ¬†Her reasoning? ¬†She was too dark. ¬†She actually told me this. ¬†She thought her skin was “too black” and unbecoming.

Michael Jackson seems to have struggled with similar image issues. ¬†People argue that his skin became lighter due to a disease. ¬†But that doesn’t excolor-box why he kept changing the bone structure of his face. ¬†He appeared to be on a constant quest to change his facial appearance. ¬†Because he was a major celebrity, had he stayed the way God made him, he could have helped the world appreciate darker hues.

The Flip Side:  Light-Skinned Sistas

I hope this film mentions light skinned sistas too. ¬†What about them? ¬†Well, they experience “racism within a race” too. ¬†Often from “dark girls.” ¬†Some darker skin women have a general dislike of lighter skinned women.

Press Pix of Chann and Bill: Photo Credit- Miki Turner

One darker hued sister opened up to me. ¬†About this very thing. ¬†She says it’s the misperceptions that some darker women have about lighter-skinned women. ¬†That light girls think they’re “better.” ¬†That they’re stuck-up. That their lives are easier. ¬†That their hair is better. ¬†On and on. The myths are a mile long.

So there’s some dark girls wishing they were light. ¬†And some light girls wishing they were dark… to be accepted by darker peers. ¬†Alas, neither can change their color. ¬†I’ve learned to accept myself the way I am. ¬†If others judge me based on my skin color alone, too bad.

Blacks come in all shades of the rainbow.  Dark, light, and in between.  And this ought to be celebrated.

Question: ¬†What do you think of this documentary? ¬†What have been some attitudes about skin color that you’ve observed? ¬† You can leave a comment by clicking here.


Tell me by typing a comment below.


  1. lisa gore on Oct 3, 2011 at 11:19 am


  2. Dana Littlejohn, Sr. on Oct 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I’m looking forward to seeing this!

  3. Nykki on Nov 11, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I remember seeing this trailer a while back and I was thoroughly intrigued. I can’t wait to see it!

    As a “dark”-er sister, I actually wanted to be darker than I am (a mid-brown) when I was younger. I thought the skin was beautiful (and still do). I had a LOT of lighter-skinned friends and thought they were beautiful. Fortunately, I didn’t feel inferior (or superior) to them because of the difference in our skin tones.

    However, I have not gone unscathed by this skin tone issue. A (light-skinned) woman once said to me, “You’re pretty to be a dark-skinned girl.” I recognized the back-handed compliment, but my eyes were opened by that comment. I think I was just naive. I didn’t really think about lighter Blacks thinking there was a beauty-deficit in darker Blacks because of their skin color. But it really was an issue. It probably still is an issue now simply because people are people and anything “different” just tends to bring out all sort of crazy behavior/mindsets.

    Overall, I agree with your comment…our differences should be celebrated! Great post.

  4. Choc on Jan 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Good morning everyone. I am at work now…and I had something already written out..but for some I keep getting error saying duplicate message..even though I dont see it but here goes…

    I actually read an article this year in Ebony about this documentary..and my heart stopped because finally someone was letting me knw..that I was not imagining this issue…

    I have been following the issue of “Intra-racism” and colorism sense I have been in high school..I am 32 years old; When I was young I attended Magnet schools which allowed me to learn with blacks, whites, bi-racial, and hispanic kids..Not once in all my years of schoolng was I ever put down by children of other races..However, my tormentor was a black girl..with a jerry curl, butter teeth, and glasses…She had the ability to make people laugh…especially at me…As a child I was confused by this..because she was maybe a shade or two lighter than me…She also was best friends’ with a very attrative black girl, who was dark like me…but she wore all the name brand clothes…so she didnt get the backlash I did…..

    I saw the girl as a woman at the age of 25…

    We knew each other immediately…

    She caught me off guard…because she hugged me and was happy to see me…(sometimes she was cool most time not…)but was tripped me out was that she has just given birth to a beautiful baby boy…with eyes the color of the ocean and skin so fair..he could pass for white….I forgave her for driving me all those years at that very moment

    ; I realized someone was making fun of her at home…I realized she was insecure about skin color too…as a child she hated herself..and she wanted me to hate myself too…..

    I am from St. Louis, MO. I really feel that alot of people here are colorstruck and stuck in a slave mentality…

    I of course dont knw everyone, but I have run into some of the most evil, wicked, negative, and ignorant blacks I have ever seen in my life. I have heard it all: From being clld Blacky, Skillet, Tar baby, Midnight, Darky..and my absolute freakin fav: You are sooo cute to be dark…WTF?

    My granny was from Mississippi…and she always used to tell me to get out of the sun…

    I used to think she hated my skin tone..but I realize now…that she was trying to protect me from hurtful comments and attitudes…

    We didnt wake up picking cotton people…

    Our generation had the freedom to vote and make our own decisions…..

    Our spirits were not “beat out of us”..

    We were not left physically scarred or abused..

    Yet we continue to Mentally abuse ourselves.

    One of my oldest friends’ is “light-skinned” with long hair..We wld go out and she wld get allll the numbers..Im talking like..she’s casual and Im dressed to impress…I always knew skin color played a part, but I was not confident and it showed…I was putting out a vibe tht said, “Im not good enough …No one wants me…” I didnt go out with my friend for almost 5 years…But on the flip side..she went through it too..people teased her for being light, but put her on a pedestal at the same time…I went through years of confusion….and I just want to let it be known..That I never wanted to be light-skinned….I just wanted to be treated the, I am special too…..

    Alot of Black women in St. louis are sooo hateful…with a crab in the barrel mentality…We analyze each other’s skin tone, hair texture, and clothes…We dont uplift…we put down and Let down.

    Join me in saying, “Enough is Enough”…what one person sees as ugliness..may in fact be beauty..but we have been programmed to dishonor african features…To me…Oprah is beautiful…To me Whoopi is beautiful..To me, Halle is beautiful!

    Im done letting ignorant people in society tell me who I should be..and how I should look..My skin runs deep baby..and it has a history…So, If you are Light or Dark..and have experienced this sick, twisted notion…Now is the time to hold your head high..Now is the time to take whatever color and features God gave you…and work it. Its time to start a trend…What happened to the “Im black and Im proud days?”…..They say us dark girls are ghetto…(maybe because we dont know our worth)..They say we are loud…(Maybe…because we want our voices to be heard!)…They say we have an attitude…( which might be true..but we are tired of not being taken seriously, we are tired of being overlooked, we are tired of being tired…)But today, I chose to display an attitude of proudness;

    We did not wake up picking cotton yall…and for that im thankful…I thank my beautiful Black Mother for carrying me and bringing me into this world..And I take my hat off to my father for blessing me with my hair texture..(thick, thick, and more thick and my skin color (Hot Chocalate!)

    We need to pick each other up…and dust each other off…and start uplifting each other….Its time all blacks started feeling good about ourselves..(we can do this by learning more about where we came from)….Instead of pointing out what we feel is ugly..lets point out our beauty….lets focus on the positive things and contributions..we made as blacks..We have a black president …that alone makes me want to say f the haters..

    We didnt wake up picking cotton yall…Lets start acting like it–Peace, Love & Wisdom–CHOC

  5. […] folk who have lighter skin tones. ¬†Admittedly so. ¬†This is discussed in a documentary called¬†Dark Girls. ¬†That same documentary also highlights very painful scenarios and experiences lived by some women […]

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