Bill Duke Talks ‘Dark Girls’ : NPR
Hue-based hierarchy, of course, is ancient — and also very modern. The difference is many non-American societies are matter-of-fact about the preference for lighter skin. Prospects on the Indian online dating and marriage website Shaadi, for instance, often list themselves as “fair” or “wheat-colored” without embarrassment. Women touted as beautiful throughout Latin America and the Caribbean often range from very fair to cafe au lait.
Black Americans are no exception — but they’re also less forthright about the color prejudice that exists within the black community. Duke’s film not only airs dirty laundry no one wants to show the outside world — it also may blow the windows off their hinges.
Comedienne Luenell (she uses only her first name) attended the screening at the Pan African Film Festival; she says it’s about time the black community had this conversation, even if it makes some people twitch.
“My daughter is 16 years old; she’s dark,” says Luenell, who has that cafe au lait skin and closely cropped blond hair. “I have all shades of people in my family, and I know this is a subject that needs to be breached upon. It’s a dirty little secret subject amongst our race that people don’t talk about, and we do need to talk about it.”