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New Documentary Exposes Issues Of Color In African American Community

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – “I remember someone said, you stayed in the oven too long.”

Those are just one of the several comments made by women in a new documentary by actor Bill Duke, called Dark Girls, due to come out this fall. It explores the idea that dark-skinned black women are treated differently compared to light-skinned black women. One girl explains how she felt when she overheard her mother bragging to someone about how she looks.

“She’s got great cheekbones, she’s got great lips and she then adds, can you imagine if she had any lightness in her skin. She’d be gorgeous.”

“These issues come up all the time,” said local psychologist Dr. Cheryll Rothery. “And often the story begins in childhood.” Dr. Rothery, says attitudes about dark-skinned verses light-skinned are generational, going back to slavery. “The field slaves were darker skinned and the house slaves were lighter skinned,” said Dr. Rothery.

Watch the video…

“We need to counter those negative mainstream messages and we also need to say they’re standards of beauty don’t have to be our standards of beauty,” Rothery added.
Dr. Rothery is one of several psychologists who emailed Psychology Today last month about a study on their website that said black women are physically less attractive than other women. The study, done by a professor in London, has been taken off the Psychology Today website, and an apology was issued.

“It’s still pretty offensive,” said Teaneck New Jersey resident Nicole Donaldson.

For more information on Bill Dukes film go to: or

Reported by Jericka Duncan, CBS 3

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  • Whoopie

    Is that you Ted Danson? Call me sugga.

  • Ted

    It is a shame that this is an issue. I have African American friends who are dark skinned and some who are light skinned.

    This is exactly the thing Martin Luther King was talking about when he said for people to “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”

    And to say that black women are less attractive based on skin color alone is crazy. There are many black women I find attractive. Maybe it is weight or hairstyle of some black women that skewed the statistics. I’m white and would certainly be willing to pursue a romantic relationship with a black woman if the shared my religious and political beliefs.

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