Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"A Girl Like Me" by Kiri Davis

Just before I left on my trip, I discovered a short film that I purchased and incorporated into my Books Between Cultures seminar for the CATE conference in Fresno. It's a 7-minute exploration of girls and skin color written and directed by a sixteen-year-old filmmaker, Kiri Davis, and produced by Media Matters. Be prepared. It's unforgettable.

8 comments:

TadMack said...

Impactive, yeah. Whoo.
Not sure whether to laugh or cry.
Wow.
Wish I could've been at your class in Fresno! Thank you so much for sharing this.

DaviMack said...

From the film:

Q: which one is the bad doll?
A: this one [indicates black doll]
Q: which one is the nice doll?
A: this one [indicates white doll]
Q: why is this doll bad?
A: because it's black
Q: and why is this one nice?
A: because she's white

Note that the child viewed the black doll as an "it," but the white doll as a "she." This goes even beyond thinking that the dolls are good or bad, and into seeing the black doll as non-human.

Truly a sad, sad world.

Mitali Perkins said...

I'm from a culture where the best-selling cosmetic product is "Fair and Lovely," and where (in still too many cases) the first question asked a new parent is about a newborn's gender and the second is about skin tone.

MotherReader said...

Oh, that part with the black doll and the white doll made me teary. I have a biracial niece and it kills me to think that she will think that the black doll is the "bad" one.

Thanks for sharing this Mitali.

cloudscome said...

I saw this a while ago too and it is just heartbreaking. I posted about it here. Two of my sons are black and the four year old has already asked me if black is bad. It kills me.

Anonymous said...

The comments of these children is quite disturbing and heartbreaking, but it obviously makes me curious. I am curious as to what they heard or watched that made these children think that black is bad and white is good. Playing Devil's Advocate, are those colors actually connected to race? Could it be that the use of these colors as a common symbol of good and evil is carried over into this experiment? Maybe these children are actually blind to the color of ones skin.

Mitali Perkins said...

I think not, because when asked which one is you, the black children pick the black doll. If it were a good guy = white scenario in their head, they would opt for the white doll when asked which one was more like them.

Bronzetrinity said...

If you liked the YouTube video called 'A Girl Like Me' by Kiri Davis then here is a way that you can help this shining star win a $10,000 scholarship! PLEASE vote for Kiri in the Cosmo Girl Website at http://www.cosmogirl.com/entertainment/film-contest-vote Her film has really inspired me and I think this young lady has a great future ahead of her.
You can view 'A Girl Like Me' on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17fEy0q6yqc
And please Spread the Word!

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