(The Huffington Post) – “You think you’re white.” “You’re stuck up.” “You think you’re better than everybody else.”
African-American women with lighter complexions say they often heard backhanded comments like these from members of their own communities while growing up. The documentary “Light Girls,” director Bill Duke’s sequel to “Dark Girls,” showcases some of their stories as it studies the pain, privileges and prejudices that come with being a light-skinned black woman.
When children are confronted with these kinds of hurtful words, spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant says it can affect them long into adulthood. “I think the impact that colorism has on young girls — light girls and dark girls — leave scars on the soul that live well into womanhood,” she says.
In the above clip from the documentary, actresses and media personalities open up about the shame they have felt because of their lighter skin. “I was made to feel that something about what I had or looked like was somehow both special and yet disliked, hated,” says actress Cynthia McWilliams. “[It was] something to be embraced and/or fear.”