Dark Girls

Dark Girls PosterI cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about this documentary.  According to Clutch Dark Girls is a film that “candidly and provocatively explores colorism among African-Americans.” And I love that it is going to air on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network this Sunday June 23, 2013.

We’ve all heard about the various challenges faced by light and dark skinned women in the Black community.  Depending on the topic, sometimes it seems as though light skinned sistas have it tough – until someone points out that they have light skinned privilege. Other times it seems like dark skinned sistas get the worst of the oppression. And then someone points out that their Blackness is never second guessed.

Regardless of how the oppression Olympics may play out in any particular conversation—the reality is that we live in a society that places a higher value on lighter skin (and straighter hair!). As a lighter skinned woman I absolutely hated being called light bright, wannabe, oreo and any other number of names as a kid.

However, as I got older I recognized that light skinned privilege is real. It just is. Not saying life as a lighter Black woman is a walk through a bleach-blonde-blue-eyed-park. But I experience a slightly different reality than the one my chocolate skinned mother experiences.

But Dark Girls is not a “we all share the same pain” kind of film. As you can see from the trailer below, this film “explores the prejudices that dark-skinned women face throughout the world.”

A Note of Caution

And here’s a small bit of advice for folks before the film airs.

How about we let this film stand on its own? How about we don’t watch it and engage in another endless round of oppression Olympics and declare something like:

“dark girls don’t have it that bad because my cousin’s, sister’s friend is dark and she never has any problems!”

And lets avoid statements like:

“well where is the movie about the pain light skinned women endure?”

(or something equally as offensive).

How about for once we just be allies for each other and support the dark brown women in our community? Why don’t we choose to stand in solidarity with our sisters, hear them speak their truth and stand shoulder to shoulder to combat the scourge of colorism?

I believe our community will be better of for it if we do.  The trailer is below.

 

 

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About Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq.

Comments

  1. Jovon Mitchell says:

    Amen! I thought I was the only one who thought this documentary was counterproductive!

  2. Allegra says:

    I have not watch the entire film but most of it. As a Black woman with dark skin I honestly can’t relate. I grew up with a mixed race Grandmother who called her friend an ugly b*tch when the friend said “your grand-baby is so cute for a dark skin child”. (Grandma was gangsta)! I never heard that comment since! LOL. My Grandma never made my skin color a negative issue. She always made me feel proud of my skin color and often said she wished she was darker. So for me, I didn’t grow up with the whole light skin, dark skin thing. I grew up with aunts, uncles and cousins of all tones and shades and we never made skin color an issue. Actually, until I was in high school I never described people by their skin tone. Now as an adult I don’t either. Even though I can’t relate to this film I still think it’s a well made project and has a voice that deserves to be heard.

    • Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq. says:

      Let’s hear it for Gangsta Grandmas standing up for ALL of their grandchildren! I wish a voice like yours could have been included in the film. It seemed as though one of the missing elements was the voice of dark brown women who were able to avoid this complex. It would have been helpful for the audience to know that there are ways of coping that can leave you feeling empowered and strong as opposed to how many of the women in the film described their feelings. Thanks for sharing!

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