My thoughts on the film “Dark Girls”

For the record, I’ve seen this documentary and attended a luncheon with one of the filmmakers– D. Channsin Berry–who directed/produced the film with Bill Duke. They’re planning to make a follow-up film called The Yellow Brick Road about light-skinned black women. The film was on OWN last night and the social media world was all a-buzz. I didn’t re-watch the film last night, but below are the thoughts I had after immediately watching the film back in February. Some time has passed. I feel the same:

  • Black people, people of color period, don’t tell their children that they are beautiful enough. My parents always praised me and invested in making sure I had high self esteem, but even they didn’t say it enough, and I have good parents. Imagine the little girls with bad ones.
  • Black men…I’m just ready to flat line on this one. Black men are so brainwashed about women and beauty and the only truth that came out of that whole section of the film is that no one knows how to fix black men’s perceptions of beauty
  • White men are not the answer to black women’s singleness issue. An article came out just a couple of weeks ago that they don’t want us either. No lie. It was on the Root.
  • Another truth that came out of that documentary is that it starts from within. We as black women cannot depend on the media or men or white people to lift us up. It’ll never happen if we do.
  • We also need to get out of this black is beautiful concept being a trend and turn it into a recognized truth amongst ourselves. We had it in the 60s and 70s, then the early 90s. Now we have the “natural hair movement.” As black people we are movement-ed out. It’s time to just be black and proud.
  • I think one of the most honest and poignant parts of the film was the lighter skinned mother saying that she could never fully understand her daughter’s plight. That is so real. It is so easy when you’re lighter not to see it, not out of being intentionally ignorant, but literally not seeing it.
  • I hate that men made this film.
  • This movie really isn’t that great, but the subject matter is provocative, but that’s just the critic in me talking
  • Everyone who ever #TeamLightSkin or #TeamDarkSkin or starts a sentence with “Dark skin girls always…” or “Light skin girls be like…” is a part of the problem. Get your oppression and foolishness off Twitter
  • I can not tell you how many times in my life I’ve been told that ‘I’m cool for a light skinned girl because most light skinned girls are stuck up’…as if that was supposed to be a compliment
  • We need to vow never to tell another child ever again to stay out of the sun or they’ll get dark…black people are fat and dying. They need to go out in the sun and run.
  • It’s hard to talk about colorism without talking about hair. My beautician in ATL always says, “There is no such thing as good hair or bad hair, it’s all just hair and it can all be styled and managed easily with the right products and education.”
  • Where is the anti-skin bleaching campaign? Where is the petition to the FDA? Where is the battle cry?
  •  I am so over this light skinned vs dark skinned debate. It is so tired, and it’s a shame that it’s still relevant. I mean Spike Lee had a whole musical number about this in School Daze in the 80s, and it was a tired subject then. We are all black, we are all beautiful, and we are all unique. We need to say these words to ourselves each day. It takes 28 days to form a habit. We need to form this one.
  • We as a people more than anything need to stop questioning each other’s blackness. Everyone has a different relationship with their race and that is theirs to have. Just because someone is darker or wears their hair a certain way or speaks a certain way does not make them any less or any more black. This type of internal strife only imposes limits on us, and we don’t need any more limits. Black people hit the limit quota a long time ago.
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