Review: Dark Girls

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Regardless of all the scientifically proven superiority of melanin, spiritually, we all have a chance to live our dreams. Dark Girls burst my bubble.

[Helese TALKS!]


Dark Girls....The Documentary
I expected the unexpected from Dark Girls. But then, that all changed. I heard the words “enslavement” and talk of trauma passed down to us through our cells, post traumatic stress disorder and such, and I took out my pen and made a note to myself, “Got-damnit!”

When are we gonna stop talking about this same bull”...I guess I became like a lot of white people in that way, I was just sick of hearing Black people talk about the history and presence of racism  and it’s very real affects on Black people lives in general, and Black women’s in particular, self image. I wanted to hear something I hadn’t heard. And I didn’t wanna hear about me being oppressed. I’m living my  dream right now. I’m in my bubble. Ain’t nothin’ oppressing me.

I don’t live inside a White supremacist framework anymore. That framework can only exist in your experience if it exists in your mind. It’s not that I don’t see the difference in race in the wider context, but when dealing with individuals, I feel their vibe first. (I’m sooo New Age in that way.)

So, I actually thought I had this whole movie Dark Girls wrapped up. But about 20 minutes into the movie, I realized I was wrong. That’s when I put my pen down and stopped writing. I realized that on this road of colorism there were some twists and turns I hadn’t yet seen, and I wanted to take my shades off and really take it all in.

What I realized about colorism, is that when you look at it through the many lenses that the movie does, you see that the rabbit hole goes as deep as one can imagine. I felt literal visceral responses to what was being said, good and bad. It would have been ideal if I could have paused the movie and had discussion upon discussion about almost every scene. Some of it made me angry, but maybe not for the reasons that one may think.

Others just made me, more importantly, want to ask more and more questions to everyone around me, including the people in the film. The filmmakers, the characters in the film, and the person sitting behind me. This film will make you want to TALK.

I have to give it to Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry, co-director/producer; they threw me for a loop. Talking heads and oft reused b-roll can be powerful if the words spoken from people dealing with feeling inferior because of their skin are from the heart. The real stories and accounts from real women who had once lived their life in skin that made them feel less than enough took me for a ride. But who knew the journey would be so rich, nuanced, so bumpy, disgusting, sad, disheartening, riveting, exciting, and beautiful?

There was once a time where if it wasn’t Black media, I wasn’t buying it. And I criticized and nitpicked every mainstream piece of media I saw. I thought my world was going crazy, my friends were watching Friends DVD’s and not bothered by the fact that there was only one Black woman in the whole series, when the show is set in the melting pot of the world, New York City. But now I’m just into what makes me laugh.

And now that I’ve truly accepted the fact that regardless of all the scientifically proven superiority of melanin versus lack of melanin, spiritually, we all have a chance to live our dreams. Dark Girls burst my bubble. But tonight, as I close my laptop, I will go back into it, my crazy world in my head, where everyone forgets their skin, and doesn’t see a Dark Girl, they just see me.

GenerationOn Helps Kids Be Great by Helping Them Serve
On Monday January 16, while several people enjoyed much needed rest and quality time with their families on Martin Luther King Day, GenerationOn was celebrating his memory with their volunteer event Grow Involved.

They facilitated several non profit organizations at P.S 57 James Weldon Johnson to allow children to volunteer their time to create arts and crafts for others in need. The service day was meant to build bridges soldier and civilian, and address community issues such as violence and poverty.

The children created fleece scarves for a local homeless shelter, “Spread the Cheer” cards for troops, and Peace Bracelets for a violence intervention program for women and children to show that they understood some of the principles that MLK was about: peace, love, and tolerance. According to the words of arguably most influential American man of the century, these kids are truly great: “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.” They also viewed an excerpt from a documentary, Whatever It Takes by Christopher Wong. Among the organizations serving that day were AKA Tau Omega Chapter operating out of Harlem, and Public Allies, an organization that matches qualified volunteers to serve at a non profit organization for 10 months.
For more  information on GenerationOn visit www.generationon.org.


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