“Dark Girls”: A Documentary Discussing A Color Complex

Recently I stumbled across “Dark Girls,” a preview trailer for the upcoming documentary directed by Bill Duke. Described as a “documentary exploring the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color–particularly dark-skinned women, outside of and within the Black American culture,” its content explores aspects of the deeply detrimental color complex. Ideologies with origins in chattel slavery, as heard in the trailer’s testimonies, are echoed in everyday media imaging and programming. The invisible scars remain from effects of deep-rooted generational myths, even in post racial America, and the hurt manifests in many Black and brown women struggling silently.

Discussions about Black women’s perspectives of value and acceptance based on complexion are grossly relevant and timely. To gain a better understanding of the issue consider reading The Color Complex by Kathy Russell, Midge Wilson, and Ronald Hall. The book delves deeper into origins of the complex, and challenges modern ideals of beauty and privilege. Hopefully everyone runs to their nearest theater in support of this forthcoming effort. Thought provoking projects produced by US such as “Dark Girls” support honest and relevant stories that promote positive change. S/O to A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss blog, who also posted the link (cross search 🙂 ) Please continue to push this effort, and extend the discussion. Love each other.




About Dawnavette

A Modern Renaissance Woman passionate about writing, women's issues, race relations, pop culture and music.

Posted on June 9, 2011, in Black Hollywood, Commentary and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I feel some kind of way about the teaser, at the least. I mean, sure there are some black women who struggle with being of the darker hue, but I – personally – know way more black women of the darker hue who are overly confident in their complexion and their overall look. From my sisters to friends and so on. While I agree that we need to address this, I hope that the documentary takes a more journalistic approach and tells both sides of the story.

  2. the women of a darker hue are stronger than they know. Many suffer in silience and hide behind their false strength that hard exterior shell that WE tend to put up. That shell that often gets us labeled as “Bitches”. I have had the same experiences being the only one with the dark hue of my sisters. Treated like the slave and the one with less intellect of the children. i remember my mother telling the story over and over of how th nurse brought my sister in to her after her birth ( her being the younger) and said “You did much better this time” and my mother would finish this story with “you were so black that we had to pour milk on your face and see what opened to know where your mouth was”. can you imagine a mother constantly telling that story to her child. I was filled with so much rage through out my life that I was never able to identify until now when I of three girls, the darker one, is the one who has to care for and endure her mother through demetia and alzheimer’s. Ironic huh? Even in her lost mind she still hates my hue but she expects my care. This thought pattern has effected so much for me. My self worth in relationships, jobs, as a wife, a mother, everything.

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