The upcoming documentary Dark Girls takes a look at how skin color affects women whose brown tone is often considered a liability.
The project is produced by Bill Duke and features testimony from several dark-skinned women who speak on everything from childhood taunts to dating to hair.
“I can remember being in the bathtub asking my mom to put bleach in the water so that my skin would be lighter and so that I could escape the feelings that I have about not being as beautiful, as acceptable, as lovable,” one woman shared.
The film, which is due for release later this year, doesn’t just address discrimination from outside the race; it also puts a spotlight on how Black society treats those with dark complexions.
“Dark-skinned women… I don’t really like dark-skinned women. They look funny beside me. So, you know, I’d rather not date a dark-skinned woman,” one man in the film’s trailer stated while confirming that he prefers light skin and long hair.
Of course racial discrimination is not a new phenomenon, as the women in the movie acknowledge. In his 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. DuBois wrote, “For the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color-line.” In the 21st century, the issue remains.
Watch the Dark Girls trailer above.
—Tracy L. Scott