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Despite all of our advancements, black women still face incredible obstacles when it comes to complexion. The color complex that has plagued us since the days of slavery still thrives in the 21st century, prohibiting that unity and sisterhood which is such a founding block of African culture.

Bill Duke has directed a new documentary named ‘Dark Girls’ which brings to light the prejudice that some darker skinned women have faced as a result of their complexion. The stories are heartbreaking and astonishing to hear in 2011, showing us that racism and colorism have not changed and unfortunately are still alive and well.

In one of the most touching interviews, a young black woman said, “I used to wish I could wake up one day lighter. Or wash my face and think that it would change. I thought it was dirt and I tried to clean it off, but it wouldn’t come off.” A little black girl was asked to pick out the ugly and stupid girls out of a selection of girls from white to black and she picked the darkest. Another woman also discussed the idea that her friend rejoiced upon seeing that her baby had not turned out to have a darker complexion. All of these stories are just sad cases of the constant prejudice and hardships that black women suffer due to their complexion in a day and age when our president is black and when we hold esteemed positions at hugely successful companies all around the world.

One story that resonated with me particularly was a young black girl discussing the natural hair and her opinion being that it was “dirty and nappy”. Having natural hair and wearing it out has often lead to stares and comments in my personal life and even the question of, “So how long is this going to last?” as if wearing my hair the way it naturally grows from my scalp is something that I shouldn’t embrace. Black power fists have been thrown up and all kinds of ridiculous other things, just showing that even the idea of “going natural” is still met with skepticism instead of treated as just a personal hair preference.

See the documentary trailer below.

 

What do you think of the new ‘Dark Girls’ documentary? Will you be seeing it? Why is the color complex still an issue? What can we do to change it?

-Faith Cummings

Photo Credit: Seth Sabal

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  • REGINA

    ANGRY FAR FROM, JUST MY SIGNATURE CAPS

    I’M MARRIED, BOTTOM LINE, AND I’VE SEEN OVERWEIGHT, DISABLED, BLIND, BLACK, WHITE, HISPANICS, ETC HAPPILY MARRIED SEVERAL YEARS

    NOBODY REALLY CARES ABOUT SIMPLE ISH THAT JUST DOESN’T MATTER LIKE I POSTED BEFORE IS THE HUE OF YOUR SKIN OR YOU PERCEIVED BEUTY A DIRECT CORRELATION TO HOW YOU ARE ABLE TO MANAGE YOUR FINANCES, RAISE CHILDREN, OBTAIN & MAINTAIN A JOB, OR CARE FOR A SICK SPOUSE?!

    MY POINT IS SIMPLY THIS THERE ARE MUCH BIGGER FISH TO FRY THAN THE HUE OF SKIN/BEAUTY IN RELATIONS TO OBTAINING A MATE

    AND IN “MY OPINION” THERE IS NO DIRECT CORRELATION, IF SO THAT WOULD MEAN THAT ALL MARRIED COUPLES ARE “BEAUTIFUL”, THERE ARE NO HAPPILY MARRIED HEAVY SET BLACK WOMEN, BLIND PEOPLE ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT APART OF THIS SO CALLED CONCEPT

    BLACK MEN/BLACK WOMEN WHO GO ON AND ON ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE NOT RELEVANT, THAT DON’T UPLIFT ONE ANOTHER, BUT TEAR ONE ANOTHER DOWN ARE SIMPLY IGNORANT AND NOT PRODUCTIVE, GET A LIFE AND STOP TRYING TO GARNER A FOLLOWING ON A BLOG

    TRUTH BE TOLD SEEK PSYCHIATRIC HELP, THERE IS A SERIOUS UNDERLYING ISSUE THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYONE ELSE BUT SELF

  • REGINA

    BEAUTY DOES NOT EQUATE A LOVING PERSON, UGLY DOESN’T EQUATE AN UNLOVING PESON

    BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER-WHAT “YOU” THINK OF YOURSELS IS AND SHOULD BE THE MOST VALUED OPINION

    NOT SOME ANONYMOUS MAN ON A BLOG THAT YOU DON’T GO HOME TO, DOESN’T HELP TO PAY ANY OF YOUR BILLS, ISN’T RELATED TO YOU-DUH WHO CARES???????

    AND I DON’T CARE IF YOU OR ANYONE ELSE “THINKS” THAT I AM ANGRY WHO CARES WHAT YOUR OPINION OF ME IS, THIS IS A BLOG AND I STATED MY OPINION & YOU ARE ENTITLED TO YOURS

    AND IT SEEMS THAT SOME OF YOU ARE DELUSIONAL AND SO SELF-ABSORBED THAT YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT THE OPINIONS YOU HOLD ARE ONE’S WE SHOULD VALUE OR EVEN BE CONCERNED WITH-GET OVER YOURSELF

    COULD IT BE THE ISSUE ISN’T THE HUE OF YOUR SKIN BUT MORESO, WHO IS MORE LIKELY TO EVEN LISTEN/ADHERE TO ANYTHING MEN LIKE YOU ARE SAYING, STRONG, INDEPENDENT THINKERS WHO CHALLENGE WILL ALWAYS BE TOLD THE GOOD OLE YOU TO STRONG OR YOU DON’T LISTEN OR YOU ARE ANGRY

    WELL GUESS WHAT MY HUSBAND LIKES ME JUST THE WAY I AM, SO YOUR ARGUMENTS FALL ON DEAF EARS-GO MIND FU#K, SOMEONE WHO IS INSECURE AND SHALLOW ENOUGHT TO EVEN BOTHER TO LISTEN TO YOUR BS

    AND THE BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IN A WOMAN’S LIFE IS NOT OBTAINING A HUSBAND, WHICH IS THE BIG “CARROT” YOU TWO SEEM TO WANT TO DANGLE -OUR PROSPECTS OF GETTING A HUSBAND IS SLIM, OBVIOUSLY BOTH OF YOURS ARE TWO, WHY ELSE WOULD YOU DEDICATE SO MUCH TIME & ENERGY ON A SUBJECT THAT DOESN’T PERTAIN TO YOU, IF YOU WERE BOTH HAPPILY MARRIED

    PLEASE NOTE: THERE WERE SEVERAL TOPICS I COULD HAVE TOUCHED ON THAT I DECIDED NOT TO, BECAUSE UNLIKE SOME OF OUR BROTHERS, I AM MY BROTHER’S KEEPER SO I DON’T BASH MY OWN, I DON’T CARE WHO YOU CHOOSE TO SPEND YOUR LIFE WITH, IT’S YOUR PERSONAL CHOICE-DO YOU

    BUT BOY OH BOY, YOUR ENERGY COULD BE USED IN YOUR COMMUNITIES, FIGHTING VIOLENCE, DRUGS, POVERTY, HOMELESNESS, FATHERLESS CHILDREN, SAGGING PANTS AND DIRTY UNDERWEAR, INCARCERATION, ETC., THE LIST GOES ON AND ON

    LOL-PEACE MY BROTHERS, KEEP FIGHTING THE FIGHT OF FINDING A WOMAN WHO GIVES A DAMN ABOUT YOUR VIEWPOINTS ON HER SKIN COLOR AND OR BEING PRETTY ENOUGH TO MEET YOUR STANDARDS, EXACTLY WHAT MARTIN LUTHER KING, MALCOLM X, AND OBAMA, WOULD EXPECT FROM PRODUCTIVE, BLACK MEN LIKE YOURSELVES

  • REGINA

    BlackKingJoffaJr says:
    June 8, 2011 at 9:48 PM
    Sargewp does speak for a lot of black men. He’s quite popular on the web. I’ve seen his name in a few boards and forums I frequent. He brings up a lot valid points that most men highly agree with. Points that you have no way of disputing. Instead you’ve chose the route of personal attacks and worthless rants. You sound angry, that usually what happens when you disagree with someone and can’t combat what they’re saying with valid points.

    The truth cuts deep, that’s why you’re upset.

    What points do you disagree with?
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    WHAT STATISTICS DO YOU HAVE TO BACK UP YOUR CLAIM

    PEOPLE USE WORDS LIKE “MOST MEN” EXACTLY WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULATION???

    YOU SAY A FEW BLOGS, WHICH CONTRADICTS THE MASS MAJORITY YOU TRY TO IMPLY THAT AGREES WITH HIM

    LOL-ACTUALLY I FIND THIS HILARIOUS, MOST OF YOU DIDN’T HAVE A VOICE GROWING UP IN A HOUSEHOLD WITH STRONG BLACK WOMEN OR HAD A FATHER WHO WAS PROBABLY QUIET AND LAID BACK AND NOW YOU ARE SEEKING VENGEANCE ON THE SISTAS TO RESOLVE YOUR MOMMY/AUNTIE/SISTER ISSUES YOU EXPERIENCED AS A CHILD

    LOL-WHAT YOU CAN’T STAND IS THAT I WONT ENTERTAIN YOUR ARGUMENTS SIMPLY BECAUSE I DISAGREE WITH THEM/I’M MARRIED, SO YOU CAN’T RANT AND RAVE ABOUT YOU ARE GOING TO BE SINGLE WITH THAT MINDSET/ATTITUDE-CAUSE I’M NOT SINGLE

    AND I SIMPLY DON’T CARE TO EVEN DEBATE YOUR MADNESS, LOL-MARRY/DATE WHO YOU LIKE, NOBODY REALLY CARES, AND THAT’S THE TRUTH THAT REALLY HURTS

    ALL OF YOU COME ON HERE TO GET VALIDATION ABOUT YOUR VIEWS, IF YOU WERE SO HAPPY DATING/MARRIED TO THE LIGHTER SKINNED/WHITE EDUCATED WOMEN YOU SPEAK OF WHY IS THIS TOPIC ANY OF YOUR CONCERN????? LOL!!!!

    NOBODY SHOULD EVEN CONSIDER OR DATE AN UNKEPT, UNCLEAN, PERSON WITH POOR HYGIENE OF ANY RACE, DUH THAT’S THE BASIS OF YOUR ARGUMENT THE ONLY FLAW IS THAT THIS BEHAVIOR DOESN’T SOLEY APPLY TO JUST ONE RACE-DUH!!!!!

    • BlackKingJoffaJr

      Whoa! You’re all over the place.

      First off, I love and prefer darker women. What myself and Sargewp mentioned was a lot of not so attractive darker women like to blame their lack of desirability on their complexion. When a lot of times that’s not the cases, could it be their attitude, of weight ? There are a lot of beautiful dark sisters. I rarely see a beautiful dark sister complaining about not getting attention.

      I think many unattractive darker women have convinced themselves and other darker women that their complexion isn’t desirable. And other myths like black men want black women to have hair like white women smh. Ya’ll screw each other up more than anything. Those insecurities alone will kept a decent man away. When we see and hear darker woman complaining about no one checking for them, subconsciously we making a mental note to steer clear.

      Another thing is, when Black men try and talk reasonably to a lot of black women, we get accused of bashing and being chauvinist. That’s why a lot of us are starting to say fukk it. They aren’t going to listen or reason with us. A lot of you want things to be the way you think it should. And a lot of times ya’ll have the right idea, but that’s not how it is. There’s how it should be and REALITY.

      Here’s the real fact, you’re not going to like it, but here it is. The market sets the value of all things. A well off Black men is in high demand in the dating market. The Black woman is not in demand as much, due the stereotypes (some true, some not so true), weight issues, attitude and kids out of wedlock. There aren’t enough decent Black men to supply the demand, especially with a lot of us dating outside our race. You can either drop your standards to your true market value or face being ALONE.

      It has gotten to the point where you can’t tell a “Strong Black Women” anything. You can’t shame her, you can’t put her in check. When all people need to be put in check some times. You can’t tell them stop letting bums and thugs ejaculate inside of you. You should lose your attitude and wieght, it’ll make you more desirable. No one is saying this to Black Women. You can’t. Ya’ll don’t even put each other in check.

      Black women need to take responsibility for some of their problems. Black woman gets pregnant by a bum, it’s the bums fault. :(

      Black man gets a bum chick pregnant. Black man say “dam, I screwed up bad.”
      His friends and family tell ask him “what the hell you were you thinking dummy.”

    • Lindy

      SWP and JOFFAJR-
      You two have made some valid points about health,weight,etc.
      Heres the thing-You reference Kenya Moore and Kelly rowland-two beautiful women(DARKSKIN WOMEN).Both of these ladies have done interviews where they talk about feeling overlooked by black men and they felt ,yes it was because they were darkskin.
      You also reference alot of black women being overweight-well alot(alot) of black men are also overweight.I see them everyday.Doesnt excuse it.just reality.
      You also mention Black women dont have alot of options to date out.HMMMMMM!!!!From MY experience when I work or mingle in a nonblack environment well yes I do a alot of opportunities to date or mate out.If you are a cute Black chic(you dont have to be drop dead gorgeous) and you work or mingle with “others”then they will ask you out.The thing is alot of Black women do only “black things”mingle with mostly black people etc.They also alot of them have the unfortunate habit of saying things like”Nothing but a black man”.DUH!that tends to put people off. I have been told by Hispanic White and Asian dudes that Black women do discriminate-(wont go out with them).So if more Black women do not seem to have more options they themselves(Black women)play a huge role in this.
      Lastly, yes. For alot of people Including a lot of Black men if you are not BLACK -IT is a step up.A PLUS. A lot of faults Black women are penalized for is excused for a non Black woman even by(especially by?) a Black man. I see this everyday.
      So while some of your points are valid THEY are not the whole story by a long shot.

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