Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Girl Like Me Tackles Self Hatred

Prepare yourself. You might want to stand and sit for this one. But, then, that would bring too much cognitive dissonance since standing and sitting at the same time is an impossibility. What is impossible to some, but only obvious to many, is that racism still exist in the 21st Century, and that black children and teens are affected by it in how they view themselves.

A Girl Like Me is the much-talked-about, riveting seven-minute film short by 17-year-old New York student Kiri Davis in which black children in a Harlem day care repeatedly picked a white doll over a black doll. What you are about to see is sickening. It is cognitive disonance, self hatred, manifested. Davis got the idea for the documentary from the 1947 Kenneth Clarke (standing left) doll experiment. Clarke's study helped prove the 1954 landmark Supreme Court Brown vs Board of Education case. Davis, who won the Diversity Award for the documentary from Media That Matters, a nonprofit internet and traveling festival that screens film about social issues, told Jet Magazine, "It started out as a school project...I inteviewed black girls and the issue of beauty kept coming up. It's sad in this day and age that people are being put in the position of trying to fit a standard of white beauty."

Louisville writer and Centenniel Olivet Baptist Church member Javacia Harris wrote about A Girl Like Me in Velocity Magazine on October 4th, in the article, The power of beauty myths and teenage insecurities. She interviewed two women, one of whom was 27-year-old dark-skinned Tawanda Lewis who wears dreadlocks, "The people who I thought would judge me, which would be corporate America, white America, were not the people that judged me. It was black America. So what will it take for black women, and all black people to actually believe the '70's slogan 'Black is beautiful'"?

Some of you may have heard me talk about the A Girl Like Me on the WLOU on Friday, October 6th. Well, when I got home, my African dolls, Tosha and Imani, were insulted by it all. They told me to tell my listeners to buy their children black dolls for Christmas (smile)! What I found equally insulting was watching TBN's Jan Crouch hand out white Barbie dolls, and lots of them, to African children in Africa recently one Christmas. Reflecting on the 1947 Clarke experiment myself, all I could say over and over again, as I watched in horror, was why didn't she take black dolls to Africa! Why?! After watching this film, you will come to realize that is it easier said than done to, as Oil Of Olay puts it, love the skin your in.

Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!

Pictures from Jet Magazine, September 18, 2006 in article New York Teen 'Doll Test' Film Takes On Race Issues.

Thanks to Rev. Antonio Payne, Corinthian Baptist Church for Javacia Harris' article, and to Javacia Harris for the A Girls Like Me link. Romans 8:28


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