Monday, April 14, 2008

An Excellent resource on understanding the plight of African American women

My AP Psych teacher Mrs. Nelsen showed us a video called "A girl like me" which is a short documentary that delves into the lives of African American girls and their self perception. I go to a school that is predominantly White and after the movie many of my White classmates were touched by the documentary and its candidness about Black issues such as skin tone and hair. The part of the movie that was very hard to watch was when they replicated a study from the 1950's in which Black children were asked if they wanted to play with the Black Doll or the White doll. In all honesty it was harder to watch in the midst of Whites because I didn't want them to misinterpret why the children chose the White doll. It seemed that many of my classmates interpreted it as "Oh my God, those poor kids don't love themselves". The truth is that we do love who we are but from birth TV, movies, magazines and society in general conditioned us to believe that White is beautiful and Black is not. The problem is that this conditioning is subliminal and does not seem wrong. One perfect example (of many) is the popular cartoon Bugs Bunny, in which the villain (Daffy Duck) is a black, big lipped, spitting angry duck. Children learn by association and black girls only have lily white Cinderella and Sleeping beauty to base their interpretation of beauty. I love this video because it offers insight to Black women's struggle. It also answers many questions that people feel uncomfortable asking about Black culture. I have posted the video at the bottom of the page. I hope that you will be impacted the documentary as much as I was.

Ya Basta,


Phil said...

Malcolm, I am totally aware of the effects of conditioning you speak about. Old an new fads have surfaced through conditioning whereas tan skin was once a negative trait, is now adored, full lips are "in" and I don't know about you but I feel like certain groups only recently called these antecedent traits beautiful because they have adopted them for their own group.

culturaltalk said...

Yup! I completely agree.