I 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.