Trailer: OWN Explores the Struggles of Dark Skinned Women in ‘Dark Girls’

Photo Credit: OWN/YouTube
Photo Credit: OWN/YouTube

By: Taren Vaughan

The “Dark Girls” documentary on OWN is set to premiere this upcoming Sunday on the network and it has already generated much conversation among viewers. Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network is doing rather well in the ratings department these days, thanks to Tyler Perry’s new show โ€œThe Have and the Have Notsโ€ pulling in record-breaking numbers for the network and other hit shows like “Iyanla: Fix My Life.” And the media mogul is hoping to see the same thing happen with upcoming documentary “Dark Girls.”

In a sneak peek clip of the documentary, Hip-Hop author and journalist Soren Baker, a white man who is married to black woman, describes the attraction he developed for women of all races as a young boy. And Soren talks about his father’s reaction to the idea of him marrying a black woman:

“I remember distinctly a conversation that I had with my father when I was in elementary school where I went up to him one day. Of course I didn’t understand everything that has to deal with racism or race relations at that point in my life. But I did realize that I was attracted to, in more than a social way, women of all ethnicities. And I remember distinctly going to my father and saying ‘Dad, would you mind if I did marry a black woman one day?’ And his response to me was ‘As long as she looks good, I don’t care what color she is.'”

In addition to Soren opening up about marrying outside of his race and his love for women of all races, another man who is also involved in an interracial marriage discusses his wife’s skin tone.

In a second clip, one African-American woman describes what she experienced on a trip she took with her friends to Cancun, Mexico and how the men there continuously complimented her on her beautiful skin, yet she says doesn’t understand why she doesn’t get that same treatment from black people:

“I went to Cancun several years ago. It was four of us. It was two of us that were dark and two of us that were fair-skinned. And when I got over there, I had the men all at my feet, I got a proposal, I got gifts. I’m like ‘What is going on?’ And they would tell me ‘You have such beautiful skin. Is that your hair? Did you dye it? Is that your natural color?’ Black folks like at me like ‘She just black. Why are they trippin’ so?’ And you know, it’s really questionable to me. Why is it that they think that I’m so beautiful and my own people don’t see any beauty in me at all.”

Another African-American woman, Nalo Hampton, talks about the fact that men tend to treat her differently behind closed doors versus when they are out in public together.

“Dark Girls” will premiere on OWN this Sunday, June 23, at 10 PM EST

Check out the sneak peek clips of the documentary below:

Clip 1:

Clip 2:

 

35 comments

  1. I completely applaud the OWN network because this is discussion is needed. I have a very close friend who deals with this issues of her skin tone and it just hurts my heart. Kudos for to the OWN network.

  2. This makes me think about when I first went natural. Some black men and women were trying to discourage me from sticking with it. The funny thing is when I went to work, more and more whites and asians were coming up to me telling me how beautiful my hair was. It was a sad wake up call for me.

    1. Girl I been natural for about a year transitioning slowly I can’t tell you how many of my cousins and friends have discouraged me during this year. I’m so glad I stuck with it.

      1. Isn’t it sad though?! Yeah, I have been natural for about 4 years. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I had so much fun going to YouTube and learning about new hairstyles and products when I did the big chop. I transitioned for a couple of years. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’m glad you stuck with it too!

    2. I want to go natural! I tried and failed last time. I couldn’t figure out what to do when it got so hot and humid outside. But reading this from you guys makes me want to try again.

      1. Go for it love. When it gets hot, a lot of us do twists, braids, wash & goes…buns…weaves. It’s so many options. Try to look some styles up on YouTube too. When it’s not humid, I like twist outs and braid outs. So simple and like second nature to me now. But some of my girls are doing weaves/braids bc it’s so humid and hot.

      2. It is different ways just depends on your hair. I didn’t want to cut my hair because I wasn’t brave enough but I did twist and braids and in between letting my hair breathe I would do rod set and slowly cut the relaxed ends off. I’ve been doing that all year you should look up you tube videos and blackgirllonghair.com really helped me. Keep updating me on your progress chica.

  3. These videos really hit close to home. I always felt like people outside of the black race value our dark skin more than we do. I see I’m not alone in that thought.

    1. Hi Anon, thanks for touching on this because it really hits home for me. I’m from Barbados and this running theme of “something being wrong with my dark skin ” is also a major debate back home as well. As the darkest of two much lighter sisters, it was a struggle growing up feeling like there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t considered as “pretty” as my sisters – and even having adults tell me that to my face. However, I’ve always had white men tell me how beautiful and and exotic they found my features to be. This definitely played a part in me dating only white men for many years because my so called “brothers” seemed to have a problem with my skin colour. It also didn’t help that for years I had a “Macy Gray do” which I was told was too nappy by one brother, and that I would need to do something with it before he would date me.

      Needless to say, I still carry many scars from these experiences and will be watching OWN with my 15 year-old daughter on Sunday night. I hope that with my help and shows like this, that she doesn’t go through what I did or at least is better prepared to handle anything coming her way. By the way, she’s also dark-skinned, go figure!

  4. Just another reason to keep watching OWN. I hate that our people have been so brainwashed about color that dark skinned woman have to endure as much as they do. I think they are gorgeous women. I wish most of them could see it too. Forget the mainstream media.

  5. As a dark skinned woman, it’s just so wonderful to see this. We need to talk more about this issue. It took me a long time (very long tome) to learn how to love the dark skin I’m in. It wasn’t easy, but it’s worth it!

  6. I think all women, dark, light, black, mixed, ALL are beautiful. It’s a damn shame people try to make us hate ourselves! I love Oprah for putting this together.

  7. I’m not dark skinned but I see what yall go through. This documentary is very needed. I’ll tune in for sure.

  8. I WAS TAUGHT TO LOVE THE SKIN I AM IN! MAYBE MOTHERS SHOULD TEACH THEIR BLACK SONS TO LOVE THE SKIN THEIR IN AS WELL. TO DENY A WOMAN DUE TO HER DARK SKINNED TONE AND YOU YOURSELF IS JUST AS DARK SAIS THERE IS SOMETHING TRULLY WRONG WITH YOUR ESTEEM. MY MELANIN IS NO DIFFERENT TO THEIRS. WE AS BLACK PEOPLE DID A POOR JOB IN INSTILLING THAT IN OUR CHILDREN..

  9. Here we go again. As a dark-skinned black women who grew up in nyc and philly, none of my dark-skinned girlfriends or I have had any trouble getting a man or feeling insecure do to our skin color lol. Where do they find these girls. I bet you, you can find just as many white women who hate thier lips and pale skin. Strangely I have actually dated more light skin black men/ white men than anything. Why do you think this comes up every few years? This is not for us as blacks to get to the bottom of this issue- this is for white people to feel secure since they are the ones spending time in

    1. Sorry phillychick, but I have to disagree. I’m happy that you and your friends were able to avoid having this kind of experience, but unfortunately, this is all to real for many of us – both in this country and outside. White people started it by separating us into the “light-skinned” house slave and the “dark-skinned” field slave, but we, men and women alike continue to perpetuate the divide. Check out some of our rappers, listen to some of their lyrics. There was a guy on the last season of L&HHNY who wanted to include a line in a rap he was writing that said”…light skin is the right skin”. Mind you, the girl he was writing it for was light-skinned and even she felt uncomfortable enough that she declined to use the song unless that line was removed. He chose not to, and she refused the song.

  10. I can relate! And so can MANY of my friends. Even recently, although I am certainly fabulous, some light skinned man told me I was gorgeous, but he only dates light skinned girls. My heart wasn’t broken and I laughed and walked off. Oh and I have heard the whole “You’re pretty for a dark skinned girl” phrase so many times I’ve lost count. But it’s all good, there’s plenty of men who do love dark chocolate…white and black. It gets better when you learn to love yourself. Confidence is key. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. *Stands up and claps* BOUT TIME IM TIRED OF THSES OTHERS PUTTING DOWN BLACK WOMEN WE ALL R NOT THE SAME!!!! LETS DO THIS….

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