The Washington Post

Bill Duke, co-director of Dark Girls, a new documentary focusing on colorism, recently spoke to The Root DC about the struggles of dark-skinned women. Duke said that the message of the film — in which women from many different cities, backgrounds and ages talk about growing up with dark skin — is one that transcends race.

Here is one question from the interview:

Q: Is self-esteem more important (than race)?

A: They’re married. I’m not saying they’re not separable, but it’s very, very difficult because you’re told that this particular standard of beauty is what you should be. Many times it’s anorexic, pale, etc. Even the people maintaining it die very quickly. You can’t keep that up, right? But we’re told we have to be that to be beautiful.


We have a 5-year-old child in our film who has four dolls in front of her and her fingers are as dark as mine and we say, what is the beautiful doll: the white doll; what is the smart doll: the white doll. What is the ugly doll: the black doll; what is the stupid doll: the black doll. She’s gotten that message from someplace and that’s what we are addressing. The audience gets the opportunity to really experience it from the lens of our cameras. They decide what the right answer is. We don’t presume that we know.

We’re not healers or ministers. We’re filmmakers, so we present the facts of it. You determine if it’s worth doing anything about.

Dark Girls: Preview from Bradinn French on Vimeo.

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