Back to IndieWire

Bill Duke’s ‘Dark Girls’ Follow-up, ‘Light Girls,’ Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN)

Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN)

Making its world premier as part of OWN Network’s month-long celebration in January honoring civil rights legends who paved the way, will be “Light Girls,” Bill Duke’s follow-up to his acclaimed documentary “Dark Girls,” which will air on Monday, January 19 at 9 pm ET/PT, featuring an in-depth look into colorism and the untold stories of lighter-skinned women around the globe, in contrast to “Dark Girls” and its focus on the stories of darker-skinned women.

Duke describes “Light Girls” as a study of the advantages and disadvantages of being a light-skinned woman, tackling the question: Does light skin make for an easier life? 

The documentary explores skin color from historical, sociological, psychological and scientific perspectives, providing a global analysis, addressing contemporary issues like bullying, skin bleaching, and the popular “#teamlightskin versus #teamdarkskin” that was born on social media.

The documentary features interviews with celebrities including Soledad O’Brien, Diahann Carroll, India Arie, Iyanla Vanzant, Michaela Angela Davis, Kym Whitley, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Russell Simmons and more.

A first-look at the film is embedded below:

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , ,



Can’t wait to see it! OAN: I view Diahann Carroll as medium complexion.


@ Nikki& tee that’s so true….I guess since we are in the middle we shouldn’t have any issues. .which is not true


"Red-Boned" a.k.a. "High Yellow" a.k.a. "Yellow-Boned," loved by some but misunderstood by many more, the light-skinned girl is a popular scapegoat in our society today. as the "house n****r" of today’s society, this unique specimen is viewed as an intangible and beautifel threat to many woman. She is one of society’s most poignant items. Many black and non black women feel threatened by her looks and therefore thrown much unecessary shade. They feel that her, often European, features propose a threat to them and give her an unfair advantage in the race to get (one of the good) black men. I mean let’s face it, most competition between women is rooted in getting the guy. This is further complecated by the fact that MANY black men are unavailable to us. Whether it be that they are dead, in jail, on the down low or have to many kids to look after already. Please excuse this generalization as it does not include ALL of them but in fact many. We, as black women, should really start realizing that we are being played against one another by society itself and unfortunetly each other as well. ‘The Man’ wants us to work AGAINST each other so that we are less powerful and cannot win the fight for equality… So there you have it, the problem and cause of the problem. The solution? Stay tuned…


This whole thing is really stupid. Put it to rest already. Things are already tense as it is, why add more fire to the pot?


"the relentless repetitive and redundant points being made by the innumerable talking headz – was A major problem" by Floyd Webb. Floyd, I hear you. The whole issue in my opinion is redundant. I mean, depending on one’s color, these documentaries are nothing more than preaching to the choir, pandering and placating one side or the other. There’s absolutely nothing new or nothing to learn by listening to the redundant, same ol’ same ol’ crying, fault finding, finger pointing, bitching and moaning. Check that, for the producers who create these "wailing wall" platforms, it’s a no lose situation. Light skinned women and dark skinned women and those stuck in the middle are given an opportunity to vent their frustrations and share their pain. And then, after the fat lady sings, the producers GET PAID. Think about that. I would suggest to anyone to not be fooled into believing said producers have black women’s best interests at heart. NOT! Trite but true and don’t take this personal, but this is show BUSINESS, baby. Now this–> Too light to be called dark skinned,too dark to be called light skinned,we need documentary too." NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Enough already. Just substitute the words "medium skinned" black woman in all the previous conversations/documentaries. There’s absolutely nothing-notta-zippo-nothing else need be said. That said, I am more than sure someone, if not the previous hustlers, will see gold in dem der not dark, not light skinned black women.


My reflections; I’d love to start with a simple premise: that humans reflect a wonderful expression of love and light within a divine tapestry. As a conscientious observer and happily melanin-shaded (eg black) lady, I am thankful to reflect the diversity of melanin within this divine tapestry.

It is worth resisting the default of the collective insecurity, which is often controlled, exploited by the forces of insecurity. These forces tempt and manipulate through affairs of the flesh.

It is worth trying to stay focused on higher ground, the Most High, parents, family, past and present. In reflection, my shade of melanin was once referred often as "red bone". From my earliest childhood to the present (and way before my time), it is of significant note that humans continue a fascination with (and warfare over) human flesh (shade, texture, even value). If what is past, is prologue, and if all shall be revealed in the end, should we not take comfort also in the history told thru the eyes of others of similar melanin content? Did the ancients not provide spectacular drawings and writings? Of what heavenly significance is skin tone, if he meek shall inherit he earth? Notice the vast tones of humans from ancient times (they did leave drawings) and around the world today (still reviewing, not believing the drawings)? Notice the conversation of skin always seems to come done to, simply put: black folks and the folks who love or hate them — and this includes black folks who love or hate themselves. Now truly speaking, many humans (past and present) have little credibility when it comes to their understanding of human flesh, it’s role in heaven and earth — exploitive humans spend much time lusting for heaven, whilst fighting to remain in control over earth! Not to mention humans supposedly belief all "men" all created equal, and a person should be judged by content of character, not color of skin. What is the end game of this skin game, one has to ask, since logically, philosophically, skin has no bearing on the earth to earth, dust to dust…what is the shade of ashes and dust!


Too light to be called dark skinned,too dark to be called light skinned,we need documentary too.

floyd webb

Ok I saw dark girls. A major problem for me was the low visual quality of the film. Also the relentless repetitive and redundant points being made by the innumerable talking headz. This is not blame is it criticism. If one is making a film that is to bring understanding to the realities of color consciousness, the visual style should be clearly impeccable to render the innate beauty of dark skin. Catching people in the street and shooting them is ok but still, having a stylist who can make some quick adjustments would not be out of the question. Underexposed, or flatly lit grainy ISO exposures win’t the best way to go.

It was had to enjoy. It was like how Spike presented the dark skinned sisters in School Days. The first full on shot of them drew a strtled reaction from the all black audience I saw it with, and some of them played to the issue in a negative way as if it confirmed what they felt about dark skin. It was shocking to me.
@Nikki You beautiful because you already know you are. It really is nothing for us to worry about, or wallow in. Best we can do is work to rise above it.


@ Nikki for those of us in the middle, I guess we have to wait unti 2016 for Medium Girls where instead of a full documentary, someone will just keep playing the Peaches section from Nina Simone’s 4 Women over and over. I’m being facetious but I’d guess being in the middle won’t be considered a combative enough topic to build a documentary, unless someone can dig up some other stereotypes to play around with. And I’d assume they’d invite Russell Simmons back for that one though.


What if you’re in the middle? I’m not super light nor super dark.

AD Powell

Easy solution. Don’t identify with the Negro Race at all. You ARE racially different. Your white ancestry and culture make you what you are and you should be proud of it. You have NO legal or moral obligations to the Negro. Identify as mixed race or white, depending on what you look like. Drop the nonsensical belief that you are too inferior for the honor of your white and other non-black ancestry and only destined to be a “pretty,” exotic or superior member of the “inferior race.” According to the idiotic racial propaganda of Bill Duke’s “Light Girls,” you are supposed to take every slight from a “pure” white as a statement of rejection from the entire “white race,” but you are supposedly to accept insults and physical and sexual assaults from blacks with perfect docility and work harder to degrade yourself and show submission to the black masters who think they own you. Take a hint from the Latinos and Arabs. They are nearly all “tainted” with the dreaded “black blood” but reject any identification with blacks.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *