About

This trailer from the 2011 documentary filmDark Girls,directed by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry, raises issues of racism within the black community. The clip features interviews with several women who recount feelings and experiences connected with prejudices toward their own dark skin color. Notions that lighter skin tones are associated with beauty, intelligence, and respectability while darker skin tones are associated with ugliness, stupidity, and exoticized sexuality are explored and linked to divisions among black people stemming from slavery in the United States.

Discussion

The clip demonstrates that young girls have internalized cultural prejudices against dark skin tones. How might these prejudices be harmful? How might they be resisted or overcome?

Where do our ideas regarding what constitutes beauty come from? What could media or other institutions do to present a more favorable or inclusive notion of beauty?