The Oprah Winfrey Network, better known as OWN, aired a follow up portion to the 2011 documentary, “Dark Girls,” with the premiere of “Light Girls” on Jan. 19. On the Monday of Dr. King’s celebratory weekend, thousands gathered to watch and tweet their reactions to the two-hour documentary. With better lighting, more popular commentators and a bigger budget, Bill Duke and his team brought the topic of colorism to the forefront of watcher’s minds across America and it certainly hit a nerve.
Almost 24 hours after the special aired, #LightGirls continued to trend on social media. If you or a member of your family is of a race that tends to treat people differently because of the shade of their skin, you know what colorism is. It’s a hot button issue that is often swept under the rug. Colorism is based in the different treatment of people who have varying skintones based on a beauty bias in lighter or darker skin. Many trace the roots of this issue back to the days of slavery, but it still plagues many communities of color today.
After the special aired last night, the big social media trend made the once-quiet topic, front-page news.
While some supported the film, tweeting:
Just finished watching a fabulous documentary #LightGirls I'm sad, happy, and inspired all in one.
— bitch. (@LaLaLovesOnika) January 20, 2015
. Others, not so much... But, many did appreciate the conversation it sparked:
"God is never wrong & he makes you who you are. You should believe that." Out of the mouth of babes! That child spoke truth! #LightGirls — Jasmine (@_LaBelleFleur) January 20, 2015
What are you anyway? But you're mixed, you're not Black. You're not like those other Black girls. You can't be Black! #LightGirls
— Rachelle M. Turple (@Blacklit101) January 20, 2015
Important conversation happening right now on the documentary #LightGirls and the role skin tone plays in the African American community — Gita Miller (@G_Miller2014) January 20, 2015
Important conversation happening right now on the documentary #LightGirls and the role skin tone plays in the African American community
— Gita Miller (@G_Miller2014) January 20, 2015
Watching #LightGirls is making me even more aware of what has been implanted into my brain since a child. Moving forward we should love all! — Shannon (@Ukcurlygirl) January 20, 2015
— Toni Seema (@UndefinedBlaq) January 20, 2015
No jokes. It isn't funny for MY YOUNG BLACK WOMEN TO EVER FEEL INFERIOR TO THE NEXT. WE ARE QUEENS! #LightGirls #DarkGirls #Browngirls — Bonnie Johnson (@djbonnieair) January 20, 2015
Do not allow the hurtful words of your past be the ceiling in which you experience life. #LightGirls @OWNTV @Owners — T. Marie King (@tMKing1) January 20, 2015
While the documentary certainly did not solve any problems within communities of color, it brought very important issues to light.
What are your thoughts on the documentary? Let us know in the comments, below. What did you think of the tweets?
Watch the documentary, here.