Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network is set to air a documentary exploring the discrimination confronting dark-skinned women worldwide.
“Dark Girls” features interviews with dark-skinned Black women in America, aiming to show “that the deep seated biases and hatreds of racism – within and outside of the Black American culture – remain bitterly entrenched,” according to a press release. The film originally premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
The film was directed by Urban Winter Entertainment head D. Channsin Berry and Duke Media CEO Bill Duke.
“When Bill called me with the idea of a documentary about dark-skinned women, I was in right away. Being a dark-skinned Black man, like Bill, I have gone through similar traumas,” Berry said. “Being separated and discriminated against by our own people. It stifles your self-esteem. Bill and I shared our similar experiences and immediately understood that we knew the best way to approach this.”
Duke referenced the infamous Doll Tests from the 20th century.
“In the late`60s a famous psychological study was done in which a young Black girl was presented with a set of dolls,” he said. “Every time the she was asked to point to the one that wasn’t pretty, not smart, etc., she pointed to the Black doll that looked just like her. In her mind, she was already indoctrinated. To watch her do that was heartbreaking and infuriating. CNN did the test again recently – decades later – with little progress. As the filmmakers behind ‘Dark Girls,’ our goal is to take that little girl’s finger off that doll.”
“Dark Girls” will examine the everyday lives of darker-skinned women, including their challenges in corporate America, interracial relationships and the “good hair” vs. “bad hair” debate. Berry believes the film is a must watch. “The skin issue is a discussion we all need to have once and for all…so we can eradicate it.”
You can catch “Dark Girls” on the OWN Network Sunday, June 23 at 10 p.m. Visit the official Dark Girls website here.