June 17, 2013

Hue View: Bill Duke Documentary Explores Challenges Of “Dark Girls”

Bill Duke

Hollywood veteran director/producer Bill Duke is set to premiere his new documentary, “Dark Girls” at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“Dark Girls” pulls back America’s curtain to reveal the deep-seated biases and hatreds of racism both inside and outside of the Black American culture.

Dark-skinned Black women from various walks of life open up about the struggles their complexion have presented in corporate America.

“These ladies broke it down to the degree that dark-skinned ‘sistas’ with ‘good’ hair vs. dark-skinned women with ‘kinky’ hair were given edges when it came time for coveted promotions,” said Duke.

The documentary also includes interviews with white men who are in loving relationships with Black women who claim they were “passed over by ‘their own men.'”

“In the late `60s a famous psychological study was done in which a young Black girl was presented with a set of dolls. Every time the she was asked to point to the one that wasn’t pretty, not smart, etc., she pointed to the Black doll that looked just like her. In her mind, she was already indoctrinated. To watch her do that was heartbreaking and infuriating. CNN did the test again recently – decades later – with little progress. As the filmmakers behind ‘Dark Girls,’ our goal is to take that little girl’s finger off that doll,” shared Duke, about his vision for the film.

Duke’s co-producer on the film, D. Channsin Berry, was excited about telling this story because she’s a dark-skinned woman.

“When Bill called me with the idea of a documentary about dark-skinned women, I was in right away. Being a dark-skinned Black man, like Bill, I have gone through similar traumas. Bill and I shared our similar experiences and immediately understood that we knew the best way to approach this,” she explained.

In addition to “Dark Girls,” Duke has already announced two additional documentaries that will serve as follow-ups to “Dark Girls.”

The first one, “Yellow Brick Road,” will look at the “colorism” issue from the perspective of light-skinned black women.

The other documentary “What Is A Man?” will explore masculinity and manhood as it has transformed from the beginning of time to present day.

“Dark Girls” will air on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network.



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