Dark Girls film

It looks like Oprah is continuing to fill her network’s airways with content for and about black folks. Though OWN struggled to find its footing early on, since Oprah took a more visible role on the air and incorporated a more diverse lineup, the network’s ratings have continued to rise.

Yesterday, One Village Entertainment announced that its critically acclaimed documentary, Dark Girls, will premiere on OWN this summer.

The film investigates colorism, self-esteem, and the complicated relationship some black women have with their complexion.

Bill Duke, co-director of the film, said making the film came out of his personal experience:

It came out of an idea I had based upon my childhood, what I’d gone through and seen, and what I’d seen people that I loved go through, like my sister, my niece, and other children in my family, and in my life, and I wanted to really give a voice to the voiceless. I brought the idea to Channsin Berry, my co-executive producer and director. We’d tried to get some investment dollars and we couldn’t find them, so we invested our own money — which is not painless. And why now? Colorism is unfortunately still an issue today. Dark skin is considered less than light skin in the in the minds of many in our community and in the media. We thought that finally it should be addressed, to give a voice to the voiceless.

Dark Girls has been a hit on the film festival circuit since its debut in 2011, but it’s OWN premiere in June will be the first time the doc will appear on TV.



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  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    i’m probably gonna go to hell for this but, the lady with the short hair reminds me of arsenio hall in “coming to america” when he was playing the girl eddie murphy was on a date with. LOL

  • BuckwheatsMomma

    Although I applaud Bill Duke for even attempting to tell a story about the light skin/dark skin issues some of us seem to have, I also feel that he (they) should tell the truth, and in my opinion it is not so much about skin color as it is about features.

    It is about how “ethnic” one looks.

    We all know that almost every dark skinned female who has European features, (small lips, sharp nose, long hair) are not viewed like her darker sister with African feature (large lips, wide nose, bulging eyes,) and these darker women also have small feet, a nice figure, nice tapered legs), thus she is deemed to be a beauty, and they have so problems attracting men of all races.

    I feel that if we are to discuss the issue we need to discuss the real issue, or nothing will be accomplished.

    Case in point is all the uproar about Zoe playing Nina Simon! The real reason some say she is not right for the part is that Zoe does not have the African/ethnic features that Ms. Simon had, but they won’t say that, instead they place it all under (she is not dark enough), and that is simply not the whole truth!

    We must also remember that the light skinned females also have had to deal with their own issues/problems, and it would be great if someone addressed their plight as well.

    • Oats22

      I have literally *never* heard of the argument being one about features rather than skin color. And I promise you, I am being 100% honest. I have heard about the intersection of dark skin + broader nose, bigger lips (have absolutely no idea what you mean about this bulging eyes thing. I get the image of black face in my mind, where I assumed the wide-eyed expression was made to make black looks like they were wide-eyed and dumb/childlike. I’ve never associated “bulging eyes” with black people…at all…ever.)

      And from what I read, the issue with Zoe was most certainly about her skin color–features as well.

    • BuckwheatsMomma

      Nope, it was not just about Zoe’s skin color, and again, the “features” issues are not brought up. That is what my main thrust is about. Of course it has been about skin color starting with slavery, but I also stated that you never see the darker skin women who have European features, and shapely bodies with the problems that her African sisters have with African/negroid features.

      Although most will not mention it (features) they are indeed thinking about the features of Zoe compared to Ms. Simon’s feature.

      Sorry, but this is true. Folks just sweep it under the rug, however the elephant is in the room.

      Thank you for your comment.

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  • Dee

    You are right. I’d like to see a doc on how discriminatory dark women are to lighter women. That dynamic is ALWAYS ignored, yet very prevalent. The nastiest black women I’ve ever dealt with were always darker than myself (and I’m not even in the “true” light-skinned category). The colorism “disease” flows both ways. Until the whole problem is addressed, this self-destructive nonsense will continue.

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