This past weekend I had a chance to premiere “DARK GIRLS : The Story of Color , Gender and Race ” at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre (November 19, 2011).
Georgia actor/director/producer Bill Duke and writer/producer/director D. Channsin Berry premiered the highly anticipated documentary to an auditorium filled with thousands of guests, which included Jasmine Guy, Jaquitta Williams (CBS-Atlanta), Kalenna (Diddy/Dirty Money), famed poet Hank Stewart, as well as other notables from the film community.
The dark skin/light skin debate continues in the Black community.
We, as Black Americans continue to “SHADE” each other on the daily on the issue of color…. from Tameka Foster Glover Raymond’s “She’s Pretty For A Dark Skin Girl” essay to Beyonce’s “Blackface” controversy to Fantasia catching way more flack than a much lighter skinned singer (*cough* Alicia Keys) for the same offense of dating a married man.
These types of discussions bring us closer to understanding the blatant discrepancies that exist in our community between how we treat each other based on intra-racial prejudices. Once we can fully understand WHY it exists, perhaps it will be easier to collectively change our ways of thinking.
Preview a few minutes of “Dark Girls” below + share your thoughts on the light skin/dark skin debate…
Dark Girls was an emotional journey offering a candid glimpse into the stigmas and hurt that women with darker skintones often encounter, regardless of age, background or culture. The film covered the many facets of intra-racial prejudice, including emotional and physical abuse from loved ones and peers.
The piece also touched on the perceptions that have been placed on darker women by men from their own race juxtaposed against perceptions from men outside of their race. The film showed a consistent thread from adolescence to adulthood, with darker skinned women being made to feel they were less than, weren’t beautiful or intelligent because of the melanin in their skin.
The brief Q&A after the premiere turned emotional as numerous participants thanked both Duke and Berry for producing the film. When asked why they produced Dark Girls, Duke and Berry both quoted their own family experiences and commitment to community as motivation for the film. Duke and Berry mentioned their follow up project; “The Yellow Brick Road” that will address issues of color in fairer skinned women, which is currently in production.
This is an old clip of The Ricky Lake Show (yeah I took it way back!) that features a young lady who says statements her Mom made, made her feel like being dark was ugly….