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OWN To Debut Companion Documentary to “Dark Girls” Called “Light Girls” + Trailer Inside

Avatar • Dec 24, 2014

Light-Girls

Image credit: MadameNoire.com

Many naturals tuned in back in 2012 for the documentary Dark Girls, which offered a look at colorism in the black community from the perspective of dark skinned women. Now filmmaker Bill Duke is following up with a sequel documentary entitled Light Girls. According to MadameNoire.com;

Duke said that he interviewed both lighter skinned Black girls and women. Many viewers, who will likely be expecting to hear stories of light skinned privilege, will be horrified by stories of abuse and objectification which were also inflicted upon them for the shade of their Blackness. He recounted briefly an interview he did with a lighter skinned Black woman, who had Nair hair removal thrown onto her head and her hair pulled out from the roots by a gang of darker skinned women, who were likely jealous because of the lightness of her skin. He also said that the film will feature Black men, who readily admit to desiring lighter skinned women as status symbols.

With these films, I’m not trying to judge anybody and just presenting the truth of how people feel,” he said. “My point with this film is that you [dark skinned and light skinned] both should stop.”

It sounds like it will be some tough viewing. Check out the trailer below.

And for reference, here’s the trailer for the 2012 film Dark Girls;

Will you be watching ladies? And how do you think colorism in the black community should be addressed?

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Chevanne
5 years ago

Honestly, my initial reaction was to roll my eyes, but we have to continue to reform our thinking. We are all black women with struggles that while not the same, need attention and a forum for expression. I have to stop myself from being judgemental of a light skinned girl’s struggle because it is not a contest and it is worth learning about because my daughter is one of those girls. Like we ask everyone else to do when we speak, let’s listen, empathize and learn.

eljjai
eljjai
5 years ago
Reply to  Chevanne

I also had a roll my eyes moment. But on second thought, yes, I’m interested in hearing what light skinned women go through. And getting a better understanding of their view of the world.

Kita Williams
Kita Williams
5 years ago
Reply to  Chevanne

I’m a medium brown and I’ve had darker skinned women tell me, and I quote, “you don’t have our struggle because you’re light skinned.” I did a double take like “who me?!” and they said that I still get treated better because I’m lighter than “midnight” or whatever negative connotation thrown upon them by others as well as themselves. Also, as someone with a multitude of light skinned friends (from light bright to lightly golden) I have witnessed them get harassed for just being their skin color. All of this has to stop. I didn’t roll my eyes because we… Read more »

Chevanne
5 years ago
Reply to  Kita Williams

There is a widespread perception that you have it better. It’s a throwback to old days of course when lighter skinned people did get advantages darker skinned people did not. There’s a West Indian saying that one should “raise their color.” All around is the exaltation of light skin as a better black. I think there’s a lot of pent up resentment at what people believe is a free trolley ticket on easy street. That woman is lashing out based on her own insecurities which have nothing to do with you. This is why we have to have this conversation.… Read more »

Camille
Camille
5 years ago
Reply to  Chevanne

That was my initial reaction too. I am from a mixed family and I don’t think that having people be mean to you because they are jealous is as traumatic as having people treat you badly because you are dark. Also, black women who are lighter are the minority, so their side is less important to the primary discussion in my opinion. However, I think people can really overestimate how much “special treatment” someone gets for being on the lighter end of the spectrum. If you want to work in entertainment as a booty girl or an actress playing someone’s… Read more »

Chevanne
5 years ago
Reply to  Camille

Light skin black women are in a precarious position. On one hand, we’d argue privilege should be recognized and used to illustrate how unfairly others are treated as a consequence. In this instance, we should be listening to dark girls to understand the depth of the discrimination they face and how that struggle is not on par with theirs. I don’t think it’s a matter of numbers. On the other hand, as minorities, they are still subjected to racism and oppression. Having the conversation within the black community is a way of resolving the colorism built off our backs from… Read more »

Tabitha
Tabitha
5 years ago

I couldn’t help but notice.… there are more celebrities in the Light Skinned trailer than in the Dark Skinned trailer.… It’s hard to empathize when the closer you get to white, more opportunities becomes available.… I don’t fault the women, I fault the people who put the social constructs in place.…

kia
kia
5 years ago

I wish I had the own channel to watch. As a lighter skinned woman, it is not all cookies and cream as some think it is. I was constantly getting bullied & teased to the point that I would cry before going to school by a group of a darker girls. I was jumped by a group of 5 or 6 darker girls before and I never even uttered a word to them. Its crazy that people are so dismissive to the experiences lighter skin women face. I feel as if our experiences are passed off as “superficial” And the… Read more »

Foxyrou
Foxyrou
5 years ago
Reply to  kia

I totally agree with you! It’s amazing how our experiences go ignored or belittled. I’ve had similar experiences as a girl and as a woman. Girls I didn’t even know at school would always want to physically fight me, simply for being alive. I didn’t do anything to them to deserve that type of treatment. Hell, I didn’t even know they existed, until they approach me with their violent rages. I didn’t steal anybody’s man or stab anyone in the back, but that is the type of treatment I would encounter over and over again during my school days. At… Read more »

garnerstyle
garnerstyle
5 years ago
Reply to  Foxyrou

I avoided the color-struck guys as well. I never wanted anyone who had an issue with their own blackness.

garnerstyle
garnerstyle
5 years ago
Reply to  kia

I did not have black friends in middle school. The girls were merciless. Gum in my hair, fights, bullying…they made my life hell. I still remember it to this day. All my friends were white girls. They were the ones that were nice to me. I’m biracial, my mom told me when I was 8 (she’s white) that you are no better than anyone else in terms of color and features. I took that to heart and live my life by it. Even to the point, that I tried to downplay my own outer appearance, so I wouldn’t appear like the… Read more »

Likewaterforchoc
Likewaterforchoc
5 years ago
Reply to  kia

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and they are shocked that you are as down-to-earth as you are? I’m telling you, it’s the equivalent of white folks noting how articulate that black person is.

Mary Ferguson
Mary Ferguson
5 years ago

Light skin women do not experience the intra-racism that our dark chocolate sisters experience. I’m sorry but I’m just putting it out there and being real. Brothers prefer lighter skin over darker skin. That’s just fact. Folks call it Colorism, I call it intra- racism. Yes I said it intra- racism. The only other group who I can think of who experience hate are bi-racial folks (vanilla & chocolate ). They are teased and bullied, during childhood especially, just like our dark chocolates beauties, unfortunately sometimes by the darker skin sisters who are jealous . The bottom line is that… Read more »

Likewaterforchoc
Likewaterforchoc
5 years ago
Reply to  Mary Ferguson

I will have to disagree with you on one point. I don’t really believe dark-skinned women can really relate to the “hate” that biracial folks experience. They experience hate, but that’s where the parallels end. Check out YouTube. A black natural girl (light or dark) can make videos (Joulzey discussed this in a video) and it is NOT supported by the black female population, but a biracial girl with hair that speaks to a mixed-race heritage will get a ton of views by duplicating a hairstyle that has been done several times by black women. Also, these days a biracial… Read more »

NapsNaps
NapsNaps
5 years ago

I rolled my eyes the hardest when I saw Raven Symone’s name…she considers herself black at all now??? huh.… well then!!!!

Namaste
Namaste
5 years ago

I think any rational person would concede that light skinned women are the the subject of a multitude of stereotypes. To me the difficultly arises when: 1) those stereotypes (several of which– let’s be honest– are comparatively positive) are EQUATED with those of darker skinned women; or 2) people simplify complex manifestations of bias by stating that “at the end of the day, we are all black.” There is this discourse among blacks– which is likely a byproduct of the one-drop rule– that we all experience race in the same way. We don’t; And with the diminishing utility of the… Read more »

Camille
Camille
5 years ago
Reply to  Namaste

I think we don’t like to go there because WE are the ones enforcing it. I have lived in mostly white areas my almost my entire life and white people can be racist but they don’t have any sort of preference for mixed blacks that I have ever noticed. Almost all color privilege comes from within our own community and ignorant things that come out of OUR mouths.

Nikki T
Nikki T
5 years ago

I am dark brown and my sister is light. We have the same mother but different fathers. We both grew up jealous of one another. We were so close when we were little girls, but by the time we went off to college we had become strangers. I remember fighting off girls in high school because they were jealous of physical features or that she would steal their men. Knock down violent fights! it was crazy! She grew to resent the fact that my blackness was never challenged and she was constantly on the defense. I would swallow my pride… Read more »

LBell
LBell
5 years ago
Reply to  Nikki T

Your story saddens me because it reminds me of two sisters I used to know when I was very young. One took after her mother (dark) and the other took after her father (light). I was friends with the darker girl first, and then later on I became friendly (note my words here) with the lighter girl. Little did I know that simply by doing this I was forfeiting my friendship with the darker girl. I used to think I’d done something wrong but now I know the color difference had fostered a really deep division between them. It’s been… Read more »

disqus_l5AKLiKBqN
disqus_l5AKLiKBqN
5 years ago

I see Bill Duke conveniently avoids spotlighting charcoal-complexioned men such as HIMSELF and their long-standing antagonism against ‘pretty-haired and fine’ light-skinned men throughout modern North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. He condenses the economic, political, legal and social apartheid experienced by dark and light-skinned peoples to “both should stop”. As if WE created and solely perpetuate colorism, as if there aren’t published reports of rampant government and private industry housing, business loan, farm subsidy, media and education segregation all due to the continued stranglehold of colorism. Go to Mexico, the DR, Spain, Saudi… Read more »

tiredofthemindgames
tiredofthemindgames
5 years ago

@disqus_l5AKLiKBqN This is the most insightful comment that I’ve read on the issue so far.

lis
lis
5 years ago

You killed it @disquis_15.….how come dark men and their issues with themselves and others (light and otherwise) are never discussed and held up for examination?.When will the spotlight turn on THEM and how come Black women don’t find it funny all these black men talking a bout *our issues*…When have they ever cared about Black women.…what’s their agenda.…enlightenment or *othering* Black women even further in American society? and getting paid behind it…maybe I’m too cynical.

Sigh.

Anna
Anna
5 years ago

Another opportunity for divide and rule in the black community. When are we going to see some positive films about our achievements before slavery. SMDH. ????

disqus_l5AKLiKBqN
disqus_l5AKLiKBqN
5 years ago
Reply to  Anna

Our multitude of achievements before, during and after we were kidnapped, held hostage and forced to work against our will (aka slavery) are routinely marginalized.

callie k
callie k
5 years ago

Yes, I believe Light skinned people have it bad but not as bad as darker skinned people. They are misjudged and are also told they are not black enough, questioned about their race and told they cannot represent for a real black person. When I was younger I wanted to be lighter. I realize now that it was only for the guys. Thats what they seemed to love the most. But when I got older, I started to hear other races talk about how beautiful dark skin was, and I was like ?? what? really? It was long before I… Read more »

callie k
callie k
5 years ago

Also I am medium brown but I still wanted to be lighter because it is at the top. There were times people referred to me as light skinned and I loved it. Other times I referred to myself as light and I was quickly put in my place. lol. Many medium toned people want so badly to be put in that category but need to wake up. You not light skinned.

CitySTYLE412
5 years ago

I come from a family of many different shades and colors. I’m very close to cousins who are very light, and I’m very dark. Growing up and even as adults, we have NEVER had a conversation about how ppl treat us based on our skin color/shade. I have watched Dark Girls, it’s a very good film but honestly, I can’t relate! I was never teased, bullied or made fun of because of my skin color. I attract men of all complexions and I’ve never thought a guy didn’t like me because my skin is dark. Am I the only one who… Read more »

april Guscott
april Guscott
5 years ago
Reply to  CitySTYLE412

I’m dark skinned and have never been bullied by anyone in my own race. My mom is dark and my dad is light, my older sister is light as well and my twin and I are dark. When I was in SG for grad school, a chubby Malay kid outside of my apt complex with his friends remarked “Oh how dark,” as I walked out to go to school, but I was an adult at the time and it only surprised me because he was chubby and had the nerve to make fun of my dark skin. Other than that,… Read more »

LBell
LBell
5 years ago
Reply to  CitySTYLE412

CityStyle and April: Consider yourselves fortunate. I’m dark-skinned and I was bullied mercilessly in grade school for a variety of reasons but the one that stung the most was getting called names because of my skin color. Worse, I went to an integrated school (blacks and whites) and all my bullies were other black girls. It made me really insecure and caused me to withdraw from other kids in general. What I am thankful beyond measure for is the fact that I had to leave my house to discover what colorism was. Everybody in my immediate family is dark, almost… Read more »

Likewaterforchoc
Likewaterforchoc
5 years ago
Reply to  LBell

I love that you contributed this to their discussion, because it shows how the family construct can affect how we view colorism. I have a dark-skinned mother and a light-skinned father and she has always resented the fact that I am light-skinned. I will never know why because it can happen when you marry a light-skinned dude. She had some bad experiences with lighter women growing up that sowed into her life (stealing her boyfriends, calling her “blackie” and so forth) and she figured that I fit the prototype of some tragic/slutty mulatto (even though I do not remotely look… Read more »

Melissa
Melissa
5 years ago
Reply to  CitySTYLE412

You’re not. I’m dark skinned. I didn’t get teased. My family ranges in all the 26 hues. No one was made to feel inferior or, superior… I also attract different kinds of men. But, while watching Dark Girls I couldn’t help but be thankful. The issues brought on by all that ignorance can cause a lifetime of pain.

thablckgrl
thablckgrl
5 years ago
Reply to  CitySTYLE412

I wasn’t bullied or anything for having darker skin. The only comment (at least the only significant comment) that has ever been made directly to me about my skin wasn’t really a diss. Just an ill-advised comment/“compliment”. Something to the effect of “you’re pretty fly for a dark girl”…

Although I was never teased for being darker, it always bothered me (when I was younger) that all the guys seemed to fawn over the light girls, and rarely gave me a second glance…

Chevanne
5 years ago

That’s true. My parents are on either side of the spectrum and I was in the middle. I was frustrated as a kid, but looking back, it was actually ridiculous. I’m amazing the way I am. Bwahahaha!

april Guscott
april Guscott
5 years ago

It was also interesting that when I went to Ghana in college, some of the neighbors were surprised that I was so dark, thinking that if I was from the states that I would’ve been lighter. I guess due to slavery and rape carried on down family lines. Just guessing though.

HairAnomaly
HairAnomaly
5 years ago

I must admit to having watched this Light Girls trailer with one eyebrow raised. I come from a family of extremes…dark, lifht, and nothing in between. I had a light mother who always taught me that me dark skin was beautiful. Although I was teased and tormented until my teens for being dark, I have never held light skin as a standard of beauty. That being said, I find it difficult to exhibit much in the way of empathic feelings toward this topic. And here’s why…some of my light skinned family members do nothing but put down dark skinned people… Read more »

Dee Garnett
Dee Garnett
5 years ago

I see and understand that both groups of women experience levels of colorism. As a light skinned woman I know I will never understand what a woman of a darker hue goes through day to day. I think its good to see both sides but lets focus that we all no matter what shade are all black women and need to lift each other up not divide ourselves over pigment.

IAMDELIVERT
IAMDELIVERT
5 years ago
Reply to  Dee Garnett

If you think about it, it’s society (institutions like the media and also the family) that pits black women against each other. When dark skinned black women are represented by the media as unattractive, loud or just negatively in general and light skinned women are the beautiful, sought after women that creates tension between black women. When little light skinned girls are treated better by the family compared to her dark skinned counter parts that causes envy and low self esteem in the dark skinned girls. In essence, colourism between black women is not the women’s fault, but it is… Read more »

Lena
Lena
5 years ago

I keep hearing black men talk about self hatred from black women, Im like really? You guys are a huge contributor to their issues. They love to place light skinned women on a pedestal. Also Black men in Hollywood seem to follow the crowd. Even the ones who have a preference for darker skinned women will end up with a light skinned. Why? Because that’s what’s in. A lot of men tend to want to get with what’s most desirable. And it seems like a lot of black men have moved on from Beyoncé tones to J‑lo tones.Its like some trend.

IAMDELIVERT
IAMDELIVERT
5 years ago
Reply to  Lena

I know it does seem like a trend. Just watch semi-famous black youtubers and viners. They ONLY put latinas, asians and mixed girls in their videos and I as black girl try to look past it, but it’s really sad. Which is why I don’t stan for black male artists/celebs anymore. The love so many black women give is not reciprocated.

Andrea
Andrea
5 years ago
Reply to  Lena

Unfortunately, many black men don’t have a mind of their own, and they just follow the media and white men to determine for them who is attractive. If white men started claiming that aliens with green skin and three eyes are the epitome of beauty, you best believe black men would start chasing those women down while castigating black women for emulating the said aliens.

marie
marie
5 years ago
Reply to  Andrea

EXACTLY, its like a circle, women hate their color or some aspect of themselves, the media emphasizes this, men pick up like blind animals, women are influenced by this more, back to the media and back to men„,never ending cycle

Athorn
Athorn
5 years ago

Every ethnic group on the planet has a colorism problem. It’s present with groups like the italians, asians, and latinos. If in 2014 you still look at someone’s color and estimate things like their socioeconomic status you’re the one with the problem. In my opinion classism will surpass this conversation about color in our lifetime. Everyone sttuggles, and we can’t get anywhere as a society because instead of people seeing their differences as a blessing we tear each other down. So no, a light skinned woman will never know the struggle of a dark skinned woman and vice versa but… Read more »

Rachmo
Rachmo
5 years ago

I’m just chilling in medium brown privilege.

Amma Mama
5 years ago

I’ll be watching!

why oh why
why oh why
5 years ago

guess what,.…. I’m black and live in America.….AND? black people better wake up…this colorism is centuries year old, this crabs in a bucket is centuries old.…WAKE UP!!!!!

Jasmine W
Jasmine W
5 years ago

I find it funny how by darker complected women rolling their eyes is just adding insult to injury. I as a light skin woman have faced many derogatory comments over something I can’t control. My mother and brother are medium to dark so when people see us they assume my brother and I have different fathers and that mine is white. It hurts to be called “light bright” “white girl” “yellow” “not black enough” as well as being accused of not being truthful about my ethnic background. It was really bad in when guys started to show interest in me… Read more »

marie
marie
5 years ago

and now… for the much anticipated sequel to the sequel.. INBETWEENERS. A much needed documentary for girls who are neither light nor dark.#Brown. lol

Kayy
Kayy
5 years ago

I grew up in a predominately White environment so I didn’t really experience the light and dark thing until I got to high school and college when people started dating. I know for a fact that some dark skinned girls in particular have had an issue with me because of my complexion and because I have long hair. There was always the assumption that I “thought I was somebody” or wanted somebody’s man. I always felt that when meeting a new group of Black girls that I had to prove that I was humble and non-confrontational. In high school even… Read more »

Yasmine
Yasmine
5 years ago

I’m light skinned myself and have 0 interest in seeing this. Hearing light-skinned people talk about being victims of colorism, is like hearing white people talk about being victims of racism. While I don’t discount that some people have had some terrible experiences, the overall structure/mindset of colorism benefits them/me. Just like the overall structure of racial discrimination benefits white people. I don’t know why that’s even up for debate. This issue isn’t exclusive to black people. Look at Indian culture. Look at various Asian cultures. Hell there are even people bleaching in Nigeria and other countries in Africa. All… Read more »

Cam
Cam
5 years ago

Definitely interested in watching this doc.…I experienced colorism to the fullest growing up…I was called everything from “light bright, white girl, yellow, light bulb, and yes even MICHAEL JACKSON!” I Constantly had people asking was my hair mine (even had a girl tried to cut my ponytail in elementary school) and still to this day “what are you?” and “what are you mixed with?”.…growing up I had animosity towards girls of darker skinned tones because they were always rude and mean to me because they thought I was stuck up etc…even after I tried to be nice…of course as I… Read more »

tiredofthemindgames
tiredofthemindgames
5 years ago

You’re not cynical at all lis. Just speaking the damn truth.

BelleNaturelleParis
5 years ago

I am lighter skinned but my mother is dark skinned. While growing up my mother would always tell me that I would be more privileged than her because of my skin color. This type of thinking had a huge impact on me while growing up, since I believed that my skin color was more accepted by the dominant society. Let’s be real here; lighter skin IS more accepted by the dominant society and I would be lying if I said that I was not grateful for the color of my skin. I’m not better than anyone else but sometimes being… Read more »

MalagasyGirl
MalagasyGirl
5 years ago

I agree it is hard, but it needs to end too. I’m grateful for my light skin AND my dark skin and well.. yes, i get 3 shades darker in summer. So i kind of live in both worlds throughout the year. I noticed how difference between how I am publicly treated in the winter, vs how I am treated in the summer. Honestly, I prefer my lighter skin.. for the same reason as you. This does not mean that I hate being dark. If I hated it, i would do my best to stay out of the sun lmao..

jahliones
jahliones
4 years ago

As a light skin (even to this day wish i was darker)i can say I’ve never experienced rascim. people in Jamaica always made my sister feel bad, saying she think she better than them (her father is white). you can’t get any blacker or Jamaican than her. my point is we really need to stop this sepration. We already have the world putting us down (light or dark).

cosmic umber
cosmic umber
5 years ago

Admittedly, I sighed loudly because of obvious reasons, but I’m curious to see this documentary. While I do understand that colorism effects black people of all skin tones, I think people often forget that the backlash against light skinned women is simply retaliation against the aggression and hate faced by dark-skinned women. I’m not condoning severe assault or harassment done by darker skinned women against light skinned women, but I also think we have to understand that this angry divide stems from a much deeper place. I’m sure everyone notices how people put light skinned women on a pedestal, while… Read more »

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

I’ve seen people teased for being dark and people teased for being light. Goes both ways.People get teased for fat, skinny, tall, short whatever. Not sure why colorism is treated as worse than other stuff. I guess it gets more clicks.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

I grew up differently from most, As a first generation Jamaican American I was taught that Black is beautiful. Period. BUT I was also taught that all ethnicities were beautiful too. In fact, I’d never even heard of “light” or “dark” skin until high school…when I moved from a predominantly white school to a school with more black students. I quickly realized that there was a colorism war plaguing the minds of many. I’d often hear people make comments that they will only marry a person with “good hair” so their kids will have good hair. I’ve heard people say… Read more »

R.Cola
R.Cola
5 years ago

I grew up differently from most, As a first generation Jamaican American I was taught that Black is beautiful. Period. BUT I was also taught that all ethnicities were beautiful too. In fact, I’d never even heard of “light” or “dark” skin until high school…when I moved from a predominantly white school to a school with more black students. I quickly realized that there was a colorism war plaguing the minds of many. I’d often hear people make comments that they will only marry a person with “good hair” so their kids will have good hair. I’ve heard people say… Read more »

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