“I didn’t want her to be dark like me.”

Fascinating trailer for Dark Girls, a new documentary on skin color, self-image, beauty, ideology.

When I teach Herron and Cepeda’s Nappy Hair or Christopher Paul Curtis’s The Watsons Go to Birmingham –1963, I talk about how these books respond to culturally “white” ideals of beauty.  The former celebrates black hair.  In the latter book, after By gets a conk, his punishment is getting his head shaved.  As his mother asks him, “Did those chemicals give you better-looking hair than me and your daddy and God gave you?”

But this documentary is much more powerful.  When I teach those books (and others) in future, I’m going to share this clip from Dark Girls.

Dark Girls: movie poster

Thanks to Betsy Bird’s Fuse #8 for the tip.  For more information on Dark Girls, check out the film’s website.


  1. Victoria Rowels



    Copyright by Victoria Rowels ©2011

    Young black slaves with beautiful dark skin,
    Violated by white masters again and again.
    They had white women to whom they were publicly wed.
    But they preferred to rape black women in the slave shed.

    A painful history we all want to forget,
    But we can’t because of the children born of it.
    Their hues range from black to white,
    With hair sometimes straight and other times tight.

    Evidence of a crime and justice never received.
    Centuries have passed and yes, we still grieve.
    But we must love the black rainbow that we have become.
    We are the original hue-mans and should unite as one.

    From the middle passage to every denied civil right,
    We make the best of our trying plight.
    But brainwashed to hate our African origin,
    We began to hate our beautiful black skin.

    From European standards of beauty to the paper bag test,
    We have been encouraged to take part in a self-hate fest.
    Now is the time to stop this genocidal game.
    God loves us all and we should do the same.

    A young black girl wanted to be fine.
    She bought hazel contact lens and now she’s blind.
    Some black women put glue in their hair,
    To hold long straight weaves that blow in the air.

    We shouldn’t do destructive things like that.
    We are a beautiful people and that’s a fact.
    Sisters and brothers we must love our natural state.
    We must love the black rainbow and stop all the hate.

  2. Dark Like Me


    How can a race be so blinded by stereotypes and negative tones that we put on ourselves as a people. Why is that the white race will identify me as beautiful before my own black men. Why that is a black man will disrespect me over a white man. A white man will hold the door open for me. A black man will sit on the bus after looking at me with boxes in my hand and ask me not to step on his $800 sneakers.

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