Monday, September 12, 2011

Dark Girls Documentary

[vimeo w=400&h=225]

Dark Girls: Preview from Bradinn French on Vimeo.

It really baffles me that we sadly still have this conversation. What's even crazier is that within my circle of black friends these attitudes still prevail. I've called out one of my black male friends on numerous occasions saying "she's nice and light skinned" or "she's pretty even though she's dark skinned". I notice that whenever I have called him out he seems a tad embarrassed and quickly corrects himself. Almost like he doesn't even realize when he says it.

I used to think it was just a black people in the diaspora issue but the more I think about it I notice that it's embedded in communities across the world even in my Africa. It's in our language choices, the way our women have normalized skin bleaching products - because apparently, lighter is "better". To give you another example, in my mother's language Shona, when someone is being described as dark skinned the word is "sviba" which perhaps in the context is used to mean dark but it also means "dirty".

These are obviously residues of colonialism but ones which within our society we continue to maintain and are having a difficult time letting go. We really need to let this go if we want to create a healthy self image for our little black girls and the world that looks at them.

When will we get past this?

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