Dark Girls

Anyone who looks more like Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis than Beyonce, doesn’t need me to tell them that colorism is alive and well.

It’s interesting that on the same day that news broke that the  U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about skin-lightening creams containing mercury, that I learned that a new documentary on the subject  of dark-skinned women is scheduled for a special screening Saturday at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby. 

Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis
Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis is in new documentary, "Dark Girls."

The 10-minute trailer of “Dark Girls” is painful to watch as woman after woman tell of how having dark skin made them feel unattractive and less than their honey-hued counterparts. To be honest, I had to stop looking especially after a long-forgotten memory popped into my head about how ignorant people used to try to call themselves complimenting my gorgeous sister by saying, “You’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl.” This happened once on the campus of Howard University, of all places.

“It’s always been a problem in every culture when the darker you are, the you are. The lighter you are, the better you are,” said co-producer D.Channsin Berry. “It’s in the Asian community. It’s in the Latino community. It’s in the Jewish community. It’s everywhere.”

  The 73-minute film, which debuted in September at the Toronto Film Festival, has been making the rounds of various large urban cities – Oakland, Calif., Nashville, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.    The local screening starts at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a question and answer session with Berry.   For more information, log onto http://officialdarkgirlsmovie.com/.

The documentary duo’s next movie will be on the plight of women with lighter complexions and will be called “Yellow Brick Road.”