Kym Whitley at the San Diego Comic-Con International (2011)

Photo by: Gage Skidmore

Back in slavery times, or even in this day & age, as an African American woman it has always been a dispute about skin tone along with its advantages and disadvantages. In 2011 there was a documentary entitled Dark Girls that was released on TV and exclusively in specific theaters with limited viewings. Well now this topic has become relevant again but this time is taken from another view, a more lighter perspective. Earlier this week there was yet, another documentary written by the same producers as Dark Girls but instead titled Light Girls. Light Girls features the perceptions and assumptions made by black males along with confessions and experiences from celebrities. The documentary features Kym Whitley, Soledad  O’Brien, Raven Symone, and Amber Rose just to name a few. According to an opinion article found on The Grio written by Kimberly Egonmwan Light Girls was less about the pain of the lighter skinned women in the entertainment business, but more about the psychological damage of blacks in general. “Light Girls had great moments of clarity. It brilliantly laid out the history of how African Americans came to have so many skin tones during the antebellum period…”

In my opinion, I believe that although the documentary is focused on women who have lighter skin tones, the documentary shouldn’t have necessarily been titles “Light Girls”.  Being an individual who has watched Dark Girls and has not yet seen Light Girls I feel as though that title is initially degrading to women of a dark skin tone just because Dark Girls was more of an documentary based on the physical and emotional toll that being of a darker skin tone in society had on certain individuals. In other words I personally felt as if women of a lighter skin tone didn’t have as much as a harsher toll as compared to others. Although after reading this article, I am more interested in watching the documentary on OWN just to witness the psychological damage that Egonmwan mentioned. Being a young woman in today’s society, who is willing and wants to better herself , after I watch the documentary I will be mindful to not feed into society stereotypes of light skinned vs. dark skinned women. After have read this article, I have learned that we as a black community is continually breaking our culture apart as “the masters” have always did back when slaves existed. Until we reevaluate ourselves as a community we will always be damaging ourselves while feeding into the stereotypes that others perceive to be true about us.


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