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Reaction Paper Number Two

914 words - 4 pages

This reaction paper concerns the 2012 documentary entitled, Dark Girls. This is a film by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry. The movie explores the color gradient of African American women and the struggles they endure due to their dark skin. Additionally, the film includes a variation of Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s 1940s doll experiment as a means of showing how these struggles start at a young age. I found this documentary to be a sad testament of the effects of prejudice. While I do not have dark skin, I am a biracial woman and I can relate to some of the challenges the women in the documentary experience. I recall my first brush with prejudice. I was in sixth grade in Las Vegas, ...view middle of the document...

As a society, we allow this to translate to races; the White race is superior and the Black race (or any other race for that matter) is inferior. When will the world wake up and realize this line of thinking only separates the races? Why does race have to be such a defining mechanism? The answer is simple, because society gives race weight. Society makes race important and significant. However, a person’s color and physical or culture characteristics should not define who they are.
I found myself demoralized when the women related stories of wishing or praying for lighter skin. The fact that these women have low self-esteem and self-worth by itself is troubling. Even more distressing is the fact that their low self-value is the result and effects of prejudice. These struggles do not have to occur. Yet they do because society allows them to occur. For me, one of the more thought-provoking segments of the documentary was the lengths women go through to fit society’s definition of beautiful. Dark skinned women spend billions of dollars to lighten their skin, straighten their hair, etc. to look beautiful (i.e. to look White). All the while, fair-skinned women are getting tans and Botox for fuller lips to what…look ethnic or Black? What an interesting paradox. Again I question, why does society pressure individuals to look or act a certain way? “Our beauty is really our state of mind” (Hezakya Ricardo, 2013). Until we change our state of mind and society’s view that race constitutes beauty, the struggles presented in this documentary will continue.
Another fascinating segment in this documentary was the dynamic of prejudice within the Black race. Black men...

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