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


“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.