We Now Have The Exact Day & Time For OWN’s Broadcast Premiere Of ‘Dark Girls’

We Now Have The Exact Day & Time For OWN's Broadcast Premiere Of 'Dark Girls'

We now have an exact day and time for the OWN network broadcast premiere date for Bill Duke’s and D. Channsin Berry’s documentary, Dark Girls

It was on May 1 when it was revealed that the film would be heading to Oprah Winfrey’s burgeoning network in June, but no specific details were available at the time.

We’ve now learned that Dark Girls will premiere on OWN on SundayJune 23rd, at 10pm ET.

The film had been traveling the film festival circuit since its TIFF debut in the fall of 2011, and, at one time, seemed like it would get a theatrical release, but that never happened.

So if you didn’t see it while it toured the festival circuit (and I’m sure most of you didn’t), you’ll get your chance to do so in just under 2 weeks from today.

Also, expect follow-up films to Dark Girls, including: Yellow Brick Road, which will look at the *colorism* issue from the fairer-skinned black woman’s point of view (Dark Girls was from the darker-skinned black woman’s POV); and What Is A Man, which will explore what masculinity and manhood is, from the beginning of humanity to the present.

No word yet on when we can expect either of the 2 follow-up films.

Here’s a 10-minute preview of Dark Girls below:

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Wow! Powerful! Can't wait to see this. It'll be difficult to sit through…so painful…but extremely necessary. This documentary should be shown in the high school classroom for sure…

CJ Autumn

Correction: article referenced in comment below was in 2003 issue, not 1993, in DiversityInc.

CJ Autumn

I look forward to seeing this documentary.
America too often overlooks the diversity that exists in dark skin people. Dark pigment alone does not define one's ethnicity. Yet Americans will automatically place dark skin into the box of Black /African americans, whether they are or not. If Gael Monfils (Tennis professional) came to live in America he'd be called black or African/American, even though Gael is French and was born in Paris.
Focusing on dark pigment prevents one from seeing the true essence of an individual. If we could get passed the darkness, underneath you'd often find eclectic, multiethnic individuals with different customs – different cuisine – different celebrations – different experiences — a uniqueness all their own often ignored by many corporations who claim their diversity programs are "inclusive" — when in fact, they lump everyone into boxes forcing you to choose one even though you don't feel you fit in either. The very people born to "think out of the box" are the very people that get the least attention within corporate diversity programs.

This is why people will say, "I'm not black I'm Haitian." "I'm not black, I'm Bahamian" – or – as Tony Okungbowa, the dark skinned DJ for "The Ellen DeGeneres show" might say – I'm not black, I'm British-American born in England, United Kingdom. Dark skinned people are standing up for who they really are, and they're not going to let America or a corporation define them because of a pigment.
Dark skin prejudice / stereotyping occurs among Latinos, specifically "Latinegras" – those who are both Latina and Black. In the fall of 2003, dark skinned Latinegra Veronica Chambers, born in Panama and the author of the children's book, "Quinceanera" (meaning Sweet Fifteen)," was not well received when she went to promote her book at a book festival. According to the article in the October/November 1993 fall issue of "DiversityInc" titled, "Shades of Brown: The often overlooked diversity of African Americans" — Veronica was told by the organizer of the event, "This is the Hispanic family book fair" to which Veronica responded, "I know, that's what I'm here for."
Unlike the other promoters that, one can assume, had light pigment, Veronica was told to wait in the back until time for her appearance. She stated, "I waited back there for three hours and then finally they said, 'No, you're not going on."
The fact this organizer used the term "Hispanic" was no doubt hurtful to Veronica. The term "Latino" is often the preferred term rather than Hispanic because it represents not just Spanish — Mexican, Puerto Rican, Venezuelan — everyone, regardless of skin color.


It would be nice if Oprah interviewed Bill Duke, preceding the program, about the project.


@CG that's exactly what I am implying thanks for overstating that for me!!!………… Also skin tone and facial features are not concurrent factors otherwise, you and I wouldn't be having this little sidebar if that were so. What I did state is that I believe that being dark enhanced my perceived beauty and made no mention of my being cherished for my personal features, and here I am thinking it's cause of all this chocolate skin for all these years…STUNNED!!!!! What I am offering up is my individual " dark" perspective.


@ Goldenpen, of course you can say whatever you feel. But in your candor, you are overlooking the point that BEAUTY is subjective and encompasses many things (although you seem to equate it with European features). No one is claiming that skin tone is the SOLE basis on which African Americans are differentiated from one another. Of course facial features matter in this and other Western societies; I've already acknowledged that. What I am saying is that the fact that skin color had been irrelevant for YOU because of your particular features doesn't mean it is irrelevant for everyone (i.e., what you referred to in your original post as a "little known secret."). No one is denying that persons with Euro/Anglo features are privileged in America. But if you place two "average"-looking persons of color with similar features side by side and one of them is several shades lighter than the other, they will often be treated differently. And no one is saying America is completely intolerant of melanin either, so your reference to tanning is moot. What this documentary depicts is that for some black women, experiences dating far back to childhood have taught them that someone in the world values them less on account of the color of their skin. Sounds like you want to tell these women, "guess what? It's not your skin color. It's that you're ugly." That doesn't even make sense. Skin tone and facial features are concurrent factors, NOT mutually exclusive ones. And darker-hued women are more likely to possess features that are not Euro/Anglo. How wonderful for you that you were cherished and admired on account of your features. Please don't use that as a basis to invalidate the experiences of other women.


I'm so glad this documentary is finally being shown. I've been trying to chase it down in the theaters in my area to no avail. Can't wait to sit down an watch w/my beautiful brown sistahs, and my gorgeous daughter. Being called 'lite bright an damn near white', most of my life my heart aches for my sistahs because I too was teased and harassed because I wasn't 'black' enough. Bring on the box of tissues. ;-)


I feel this subject needs to be addressed. Our ppl have been, not only been oppressed by one race they have been oppressed by family members and friends. This issue is still current. Itis not only in the black race it is in other cultural race as well.


Reading the comments and truly understanding just how deep and pervasive this issue is among people of color and others justifies the need for a documentary of this nature. Further exploration is required for when 'sensitive' topics are introduced to the public for scrutiny; it's the beginning not the end of a justifiable endeavor. One, by the way, that is in need of a more developed and consummate perspective that appreciates a myriad of viewpoints. I'm glad Oprah took on the documentary and I believe she will also schedule the 'Yellow Brick Road' for there are always a number of ways to look at any phenomenon. The fact that folks say that they suffer demands our attention and compassion. Period!!!


@CG can I just be candid…. an "unattractive"person whose light skin which is considered a hallmark of beauty, gets no more of a pass than an" unattractive" dark skin person with long flowing hair which is also considered a hallmark of beauty. The more recognizable markers of westernized beauty that you posses the more you are considered beautiful in American culture. It is not isolated to color. What would this documentary look like if they only used dark -skin traditionally beautiful women. Their stories would contrast greatly to average looking women light or dark . We live in a culture where BEAUTY is exulted. If being too dark was so objectionable there wouldn't be a tanning industry bolstered by billions of dollar. This same documentary could have focused on these women's other features and would have been just as divisive. A lot of times we internalize discrimination and we look for reasons why. But in truth hate in any form is just insidious and when we try to make sense of it it causes pain because we have aligned with something that we know deep down is untrue and that is where the pain comes from. The outside world will always find reasons to reject individuals if they are different then the majority, this is no different and no more polarizing.


Colorism is such a taboo topic in the African-American community. It is embarrassing and shameful, particularly since the “Black is Beautiful/I’m Black and Proud” 1960’s & 70’s. The attitudinal preference for “fair” skin is a vestigial tail from our colonized heritage. Skin bleaching products are not as widely advertised as they were in the early part of the 20th century. (But check out Africa and India now!) Colorism is discomforting and regressive to 21st century, “aware” Blacks, so we deny or ignore it. But it is real and it seems to exist in almost every area of the planet in which there was colonial usurpation. Scholars like bell hooks call it psychological splitting: conscious denial that Black people are inferior, unconscious acceptance of the message that Black skin is undesirable. Iron chains are infinitely easier to shed than the intangible ones binding our psyches.


@ Goldenpen, your experience does not negate the fact that lighter skin is considered/treated as privileged in the Western world. If you listen carefully to the stories in the trailer, you will hear that women with so-called "ideal" features are indeed viewed differently, and in many cases are told that they are pretty IN SPITE OF their complexions, not that they are recognized as a beautiful whole. Yes, overall features, facial shape and structure do influence perceptions of beauty (and one might get a "pass" because of them). But skin tones and hair types ALSO influence such perceptions… that is undeniable.


I want to let everyone in on a little know secret of the black "dark skin"community .Being a dark skin women myself. It is NOT …the color of your skin western culture in general responds negatively to. It is if you are closer to a Caucasian standard of physical beauty in which the majority of western culture responds "favorably" to. You can be dark as mid-night but if you have "Caucasian" features you will be just as revered and worshiped like a black Hindu Goddess, by blacks, browns and whites alike. When you are closer to the ideal standard of beauty people treat you better period. Not only do you not hear critiques about your color but people will consider it remarkable. It is not an issue of color that keep us from being perceived as beautiful anyone with eyes can see black skin is beautiful. But I am sorry to say it is how we physically look , eyes, hair,lips,nose,teeth, body type that people respond favorable or adversely to. I have been dark all my life but never have I felt the pain of being dark, I believed being dark didn't depreciate my beauty , it enhanced it. I appreciate these women's stories but what this documentary focuses on is dark skin and co-mingle that with standards of beauty. These women that are in the documentary just don't fit society's "standard of beauty" physically and that may be the larger issue and skin color is just a secondary minor issue.


It' hard to tell from the trailer, but I am a little annoyed that the focus is only on black people. As if we invented these attitudes. As if they're not reinforced by white America.


This is my second time watching this trailer and I have the same reaction that I always had……this is so sad. What hurts the most is the idea that this dark skinned idea is not just an epidemic of the black community. There are latin american women who suffer through this. East Indian women who feel their deep skin tone is an abomination. I am looking forward to watching this finally.

It is true that the black community adopted this form of racism from slavery and yes we perpetuate it. Yet, Hollywood continues this as another commenter said by uplifting lighter skinned women and pushing darker skinned women to the side.


Here we go again, the house is full of victims, perpetrators and the ambivalent… what we gonna do now? What is the goal/purpose of this doc and ensuing conversations?

Is the purpose another platform geared toward "look at me, woe is me", or is it an avenue focused on catharsis? I hope it's the latter because without serious consequences the perpetrator and the ambivalent will never change, so shinning a light on them is a fruitless effort. Stated another way, when I look at the history of racist individuals, highlighting their evil ways has little affect on their entrenched attitudes. Not until they face dire consequences will they even consider changing.

The same can be said about the arena of The Dark Woman vs. The Fairer-Skinned Black woman. Without dire consequences humans seldom change. So tick-tock the beat don't stop, although the dynamics are changed (somewhat), there are still "victims" and "perpetrators" on the scene.

I am suggesting that "change" – in this arena — is incumbent upon the "victim" because they face the largest consequences if they do not seek a change of attitude (self-image) which starts within.

In short, I hope this doc, future docs of this nature and the ensuing conversations are not another woe is me, point our fingers and bitch and moan session. Instead, I hope it's a foundation for catharsis.


I went back and fully looked at this without promoting my own project (bad form on my part and I apologize), but this is still unappealing because it is going over the same issue ad infinitum.

None of the women I notice are what would be called "jet-black," that is, have a darkness to their complexion that there is a blue tone to their skin — and I seen some very beautiful women such as this. This is a 9-minute trailer of tedious boredom of the numerous women saying the same thing. There is no exploration, at least from the trailer, of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

It's not very interesting and I'm surprised that an experienced filmmaker such as Bill Duke would turn out such a "trailer." I see why this didn't make it: it is boring.

By the way, isn't Michelle Obama a DG? Oprah Winfrey? The Venus and Serena Williams? Viola Davis? Cicely Tyson? Gabrielle Union? Whoopi Goldberg? Are these women in it?

Twanda "Aisha" Jackson

I have always lived this…and it still exist..

Twanda "Aisha" Jackson

i know this ….


This looks like a great film that covers a topic that needs to be discussed and a prejudice that needs to be exposed. I hope it will come to VOD and DVD soon.

James Madison

Films like this definitely should exist. It exposes a problem that is there, but if some filmmakers are earnest in looking for a solution, and I believe I mentioned this before – Why not make a film with 'Dark Girls"

I believe there was a campaign to raise money for this film and I mentioned, why not use that money to fund a narrative with Dark Girls with natural hair, perm weave different shades and shapes etc.

A lot of energy goes into the problem, so why not recognize the problem and create images that are contrary?

It is the media perception that focuses on the stereotypes and the casting of what the standard of beauty is.

Also, Oprah/OWN as a showcase facilitator of this film, seems to quickly gravitate to the downtrodden and depressed aspects within the community of color. There has been other films such as The Great Debaters but the films that stand out as a super nova are films like Precious and Beloved, which are not inspiring films so to speak. They can be seem as emboldening the "negative" like certain rappers she dislike.

Why not at some point mix up the narrative palette and showcase movies that goes toward the uplifting denominator for a change? It can be a suspense story, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, any genre of choice. Featuring Dark Girls.


This "trailer" is boring. It is really unappealing to listen to one one after another cite her trials and tribulation as a "dark girl." It's neither good nor interesting filmmaking. I'm working on a script about black woman whose brother's "colorism" boomerangs against him. If people are interested in supporting a project that uses humor and drama to explore the same issue, contact me at: @NormanKelley


I'm looking forward to watching this. I applaud OWN for providing the outlet for the movie to be seen in homes.


Am I my sister's keeper? Apparently not in this culture. As a black female who has experienced this 'phenomenon', it is always amazing to hear, 'Well, I don't do that.' LOL. That means what? That I didn't experience it? Thanks for your words….they really helped. :(

…And it is not just chocolate girls, cocoa girls that have experienced this, but also teasin' tan and cafe au lait girls. Yes. There is a Jill Scott track where she mentions her knees being clean from AJAX washings…..and I was like……Whaaat? you too, Jill!? But you are light……er than me!

I would say that EVERYONE should watch this film with an open mind and with the mindset of putting yourself shoes of these sistas and ask yourself how would you feel and what would help you overcome. If you get nothing else from this, if a brave soul mentions their experience, please just refrain from responding if you can't say anything other than….'I don't do it. I don't know anybody who does that. Does that only happen in the South? Or Whatchu talkin' 'bout Willis? GTFO.


I think Dark Girls is much more complicated than you suggest. Pop culture and society does influence us and condition us in relation to beauty. It is a lot more difficult to ignore. We live in a culture which tells us such as People Magazine that Beyonce is black beauty. Really? Beyonce with her light skin, her fake blonde weave, is black beauty?

Look at the top "black" female celebrities you will notice they are usually mixed race. Halle Berry, Rosario Dawson, Paula Patton, Zoe Saldana, Rihanna, Beyonce, are all mixed race women with lighter skin, they get the high profile magazine covers, they get the top film roles, they get acclaim from the media as being beautiful.

Where is Angela Bassett or Viola Davis spotlight? Now, how many darker skinned black women are even regarded as beautiful even within the black community? A lot of black people want to blame white culture, but in the black community colorism is a huge issue. The black rappers always got a mulatto, or a light skinned Latina with long hair as their love interest in rap music videos. What are dark skinned black girls supposed to think when they see this? Black heterosexual men are also to blame, they place a high emphasis on light skinned women like Beyonce or Halle Berry they put them on a pedestal while the darker skinned black woman is degraded and scorned.


I have to disagree with the premise of the film because it's not we as a culture that have a problem with dark skin v.s. light skin, it's some within the culture have this problem. If we all would simply use common sense and stop holding on to external stereotypes and labels that others impose on us as individuals then everyone would realize that no one controls any aspects of their physical appearance other than weight. We are all human beings with a wide range of skin tones, none of which controls who or what we are. I'm sick of documentaries that lump us all together and make it appear that we all practice these closed minded beliefs. I for one do not and I treat everyone based on how they treat me and their race, skin color, hair texture, etc…never ever has anything to do with my perception of them. People wake the heck up and stop labeling each other and treat each others as flesh and blood just like yourself. Jeeezzzzzz.


This was absolutely HAUNTING to watch. My heart is broken.

David Crossgrove

This is going to be an emotionally difficult documentary to watch.
Black fathers, particularly, and their daughters, would be advised to watch.

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