BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL! That used to be a popular phrase. One that still holds true for me, it doesn’t for a multitude of people… from the land where the black man — the first man — began. Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry are the directors of “Dark Girls.” Airing on OWN, it premiered last night, I don’t see any future air dates — but you can get all the details and see portions of the film on it’s official site: http://officialdarkgirlsmovie.com
“Dark Girls” addresses how little girls to adult women of color have been, and are discriminated against and have a low self esteem as a result. It delves into the origins of these stigmas, and takes a look at black people around the world that believe lighter skin means a brighter future. It talks about how the bleaching and/ or skin lightening cream industry is steadily growing around the world via “colored people.” “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,” was a hit record when I was coming up. Self loathing just doesn’t compute to me… sure, once or twice I may have not liked myself, but I Love Me Some ME. “If You Can’t Love Yourself, How In the Hell You Gonna Love Somebody Else – Can I Get An A-Men” Ru-Paul.
Bill Duke is as black as they come, and he’s one of the most beautiful and brilliant black men to grace the streets of Hollywood. An actor and director, Duke has appeared in 57 films and sat behind the camera for 53. Some of his more memorable roles for me are in the movies “Car Wash”, “American Gigolo”, “Predator”, “Menace II Society” and “Payback.” His next role is as the character “Nokes” in the movie “Bad Country.” Among the pictures he’s directed are: “Not Easily Broken”, “Hoodlum”, “Deep Cover”, “A Rage in Harlem” and “The Killing Floor.”
In addition to “Dark Girls”, D. Channsin Berry has two other credits in filmmaking. The documentary “The Prosecution of an American President” and an episode of the PBS series “American Masters”, that featured the legendary Sam Cooke, titled “Sam Cooke: Crossing Over.”
Duke’s “Dark Girls” is my favorite among all of his endeavors. A presentation that not only informs, it has stirred a conversation that obviously has needed to be had. Uptown Magazine’s Sasha King says: “I absolutely HATE having conversations about colorism and dating because too many people are too stupid to realize that there’s no such thing as a “right” preference.” A reader on the Huffington Post’s website weighs in: “While all African Americans are subject to certain kinds of discrimination and second-class citizenship, the intensity, frequency, and outcomes of this discrimination vary drastically by skin tone, and there are far greater “benefits” that come with lighter skin.”
No matter what your thoughts are on the subject, or even if you hadn’t thought about it before, you will definitely be enlightened when you watch “Dark Girls.”
One thing I’ve always admired about Bill Duke is his sense of style and commitment to fashion. Here’s a few photos of the veteran wearing various lids — the “Duke” is definitely a hat man…
for the love of Bill Duke and the Truth