Bill Duke’s ‘Dark Girls’ Documentary To Make Its Television Debut On OWN

May 1, 2013  |  

Source: Twitter

Dark Girls is a documentary by Bill Dukes with the intended goal of exploring and raising awareness around “the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color particularly dark skinned women.” The eye-opening  film originally debuted back in 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival and has been creating quite a buzz ever since.

During an interview with The Root last year, Duke revealed that witnessing the pain endured by little Black girls who wished they look like someone else is what really inspired him to put the project together.

“From observing the unfortunate pain that friends of mine’s children are still going through. Just yesterday we were at the Links. A beautiful dark-skinned woman was at the desk, and she said to me, ‘I’m so glad you’re making this film.’ I said, ‘Thank you.’ She said: ‘You don’t understand. A few days ago, my daughter, who’s as dark as me, came home crying that they were calling her ‘blackie’ and all of these names at the playground at her school.’This is not something that happened 50 years ago; this is happening now.”

Duke went on to say that he hopes his documentary will bring about healing.

“[I hope] to create a discussion, because in discussion there’s healing, and in silence there is suffering. Somehow if you can speak it and get it out, healing starts.”

“I think the deepest part is we learned our own prejudices and we learned our own indoctrinations. We learned where our own standards of beauty came from, what were our preferences and why were we making those decisions in terms of women.”

“You know you think your conscious is right; as you dig deeper in to the core of these issues, it’s a self-discovery process as well. And when you start facing those issues, they are not painless, let’s put it that way. And so this self-discovery process was part of it.”

It was officially announced yesterday that Dark Girls will make its television debut on the Oprah Winfrey Network in June.

Check out a preview of Dark Girls below. Let us know what you think. 

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  • Most definitely will watch this. I missed it during its initial viewing.

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  • jsalston

    Why can’t i find any information of this on the OWN website? They have been promoting that new soap opera for weeks now on the website and on the TV station but I haven’t seen any mention of this documentary of substance that can really break down some barriers and heal some wounds. I hope they don’t decide it push it back or not air it altogether :-(. We want to support y’all so please give us something else besides another dramatic,vapid fluff show!

  • This looks like a really interesting documentary. I am a white person who grew up in a community with very few minorities. Our community is more integrated now but still a white majority. I have always been very interested in black culture and history. I am really looking forward to seeing this.

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  • SMHgurl24

    Really can’t wait to see this but what confused me was the second to last woman to speak who said blacks have no culture (which is what she meant when she mentioned community and language). Black is a color.. Black people come from many parts of the world that have their OWN culture. Just because we are black does not mean we all think/ act the same. Besides that I think this doc. looks like it was done well

  • jjac401

    I am so glad that this documentary has been made. I will definitely be watching it and I hope that discussions about this issue truly begin and bring about a change.

  • Shay n Scrappy 4 ever! Lmao

    Im glad this is coming on, with the recent brown skinned celebrities admitting how they didnt embrace their color for a long time because of ignorant people telling them that their shade wasnt beautiful. Must watch 4 me.

  • Taelur Myers

    I have been waiting FOREVER to watch this lol Ima watch it on HD with a big bag of cool ranch doritos ready ^_^

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  • only1angelia

    I am what my nina used to call “paper bag brown” and I have always wished that I was darker. I have a cousin who is very dark skinned and she was teased and called names when we were growing up and I could never understand that because I’ve always thought that she was exceptionally beautiful because of her dark skin and bright smile. Even though I think that we are a beautiful people with all of our different shades, I’ve always been more attracted to dark skinned men. Never thought of my own feelings/preferences as prejudice, though…..something to think about.

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  • hollyw

    Wow. Would love to see, when does it debut??

  • I_am_a_Gladiator/Scandalista

    Long overdue

  • On_Point

    am i the only black person that grew up without having color issues, my whole life i never have people talk about my dark skin in a negative light. I have “full” black relatives hose skins tones range from dark all the way to as light as possible, neither one of has had any issues with out skin, my family did not play favorites over one another. So when i see fellow men and women talking about have complexes and what not it is mind boggling to me.

    • I_am_a_Gladiator/Scandalista

      Well I will consider you one of the blessed ones who never had to experience this sort of hate because it is definitely real

    • hiswomanandlovingit

      in this i truly envy you, your family and your upbringing. i grew up being told constantly from outsiders and family members that i just wasnt pretty enough because i was dark. told not to bring home anyone darker than me because my babies would automatically be ugly. continue your family’s tradition of not raising the children to think negatively of darker hues but keep in mind that not everyone else has had this fortune.

      • On_Point

        I am sorry to hear that and that is very unfortunate, please end that negative cycle. Marry somebody that you love regardless of skin tone

    • bkabbagej

      Really, so beyond your family and intimate relationships, no one at school or social gatherings spoke of complexion and beauty. For the most part my family was the same as yours, complexion and beauty never had anything to do with how one’s skin color looks but out in the world (school and other social affairs), I heard some of the worst comments about dark skin people and my younger sister came home one day from daycare and said “I wonder why I’m not white like my older sister (me). I’m no way white, not even what one would consider light skin but a few shades lighter than her was enough for the other children to make fun of her complexion and accuse her of not being a family member and not being attractive because her skin is darker.

      • On_Point

        Nope, of course I have delt with racism, but no other black person has ever said anything negative about my skintone or beauty to my face. My white peers have not made negative comments on my skin tone in person either. In fact I get compliments all the time time on my natty hair and clear dark chocolate skin tone.

    • Shay n Scrappy 4 ever! Lmao

      Really? I envy you. I have heard ‘you pretty for a dark girl…’ or cute compared to to my sister who is a few shades lighter than me comments from family to church people to friends of family… I wish i never had to endure it like you.

  • Patricia

    I can’t wait to see this as well. I hope it comes out on DVD so I can purchase it.

  • rita

    Ugh, why are these documentaries always made by MEN?

    • I_am_a_Gladiator/Scandalista

      I think it makes a bigger impact when men do it since men are the ones usually labeled as “color struck”. I think by a woman doing this (which they have but just haven’t gotten as much exposure) they would be considered bias based on if she were a fellow dark skin girl and rather if she were a light skin girl, she would be considered a traitor by some or others might say they don’t need a light skinned woman to tell how us dark skins feel. Women are weird like that.

  • Guest360

    I can not wait to watch this. The more we talk about it, the more healing can begin for a lot of people.

  • chanela

    The sad part is that to any other race these “dark skinned”women are just black women PERIOD. smh

  • MsLadyE

    I’m definitely watching this!! Hopefully this will help us heal.

  • HoneyDipp

    I will absolutely be watching! I hope it reaches the masses and influences the black community the way the “Good Hair” documentary did. Not trying to compare hair to skin, but we looked at hair differently after we saw it and seemed to embrace it. I hope we can look at our skin shades and embrace them the same way.

    • Guest

      I truly hope so, but my only concern is that the skin debate goes faaaar deeper than the hair debate. Natural hair was embraced in the 60s, as it was a symbol of black pride and African American unity…..Our skin color and the view thereof, although it should be the number one symbol of black pride and royalty, has been singed by so much hate, both from others and ourselves, that it might take longer than the embracing of our natural hair.I truly hope that I’m proven wrong.

  • Chey

    Beautiful! I can not wait to see this. I hope every black girl/woman sits down and watches this! We need to lift each other up instead of tearing each other down.