A book review for Dark Girls the book by Bill Duke, Sheila P. Moses, and Barron Claiborne from publisher Amistad an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Dark Girls was originally a 2012 documentary film made by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry. I remember seeing the film on the OWN Network and being moved to tears as I listened to women share their experiences about being dark-skinned. To hear the hardships some of the women faced solely due to the color of their skin was disheartening and frustrating. Not only did they receive prejudice from those who weren’t people of color, but from other Black people was difficult to watch and made me face a lot of my own demons. I grew up among many racially charged situations. I’ve been spit on due to my race and sex and I’ve been called every racial epithet that one can imagine. And even though my parents didn’t properly prepare me with how to deal with the racism I would face as a Black woman in this world, oddly I’ve never felt insecure about the actual color of my skin.
My family ranges from white-passing Black individuals to the loveliest and deepest of dark complexions. Plus my mother would lather me in sun tanning lotion and send me outside to get kissed by the sun. So when I moved from being the one Black person among Asian, Pacific Islander, and White individuals to being me among thousands of other Black individuals, I was the odd duck who wasn’t uncomfortable with my dark skin. I could care less if I had red, yellow, or blue undertones. I was the color that I was and that was that. I was more ashamed and embarrassed that my mother was still putting my natural hair in pig-tails and cornrows until I was in the tenth grade. I wanted an adult hairstyle and if that came from a hot comb, relaxer, or braids so be it. My low self-esteem revolved around not having as much money as everyone else and not being cool with an asymmetrical hairstyle, not because I was darker than someone else. But I saw how vital and important this topic was for others and made me want to figure out what I could do to ease the pain and struggle others were dealing with regarding this issue.
So to see the documentary film and now Dark Girls the book discuss the beauty of dark-skinned women delights me. I know this 7.4 x 9.1 inches (which is my only complaint about the book, it’s too small) coffee table book that features interviews by award-winning writer Shelia P. Moses and photographs by Barron Claiborne will inspire and move individuals of all color hues. Dark Girls the book
is a magnificent collection featuring accomplished dark-skinned women from all walks of life. In the book, celebrities such as Lupita Nyong’o, Vanessa Williams, Loretta Devine, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Judge Mablean Ephriam, Brandi and Karli Harvey, and over seventy-five other outstanding women share intimate insights into what their dark skin means to them…This thoughtful, sophisticated, alluring, and uplifting collection captures the elegance of dark skin—joyfully showcasing that people truly are beautiful for who we are. (via Amistad An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers press release)
I feel Dark Girls the book with quotes like the ones listed below should grace many individuals coffee tables.
“My darkness exudes strength.” –Kimberly Kimble, Hair Stylist
“Dark girls, be proud.” –Dawn Harper-Nelson, Olympian
“Born dark, fearlessly and wonderfully made.” –Tajamika Paxton, Flimmaker
“I am a dark girl who will change the world by helping one girl at a time.” –Dr. Tenika Jackson, Clinical Psychologist
“Dark skin, full lips, wide hips, and intelligence. I’m so proud to be a chocolate girl!” –Tanjareen Thomas, Actress, Producer, and Host
I believe this topic is such an important one and I figured the best way to help ease the pain and struggle that people are dealing with is provide a little more awareness about this spectacular book. So we here at We So Nerdy will give one lucky winner a copy of Dark Girls the book in the hopes that it will move and inspire another individual and let a few others know about this wonderful collection of inspiring and beautiful dark-skinned women. Enter our giveaway below and Good luck!