Saturday, August 12, 2006

Kiri Davis: "A Girl Like Me"

This afternoon, I watched a 7-minute film entitled "A Girl Like Me". It was directed by Kiri Davis, a teenaged filmmaker, and won the diversity award at the 6th Annual Media That Matters Film Festival. I would challenge anyone who thinks racism is just a matter of language to watch this film. It's a very powerful use of seven minutes and Davis deserves to have our attention.

If I'd been making the rounds of my usual blogs this week, I would have seen Nubian's post on "A Girl Like Me" and watched the film last Monday. Ah, well. Better late than never I guess. In any case, do watch the film and read Nubian's thoughts about it, as well. This is a must-not-miss.

12 comments:

Peacechick Mary said...

Ohhh, all those girls were so beautiful. It's heartbreaking to think that they are blocked from knowing that. We had better all start telling them everyday, all the time how radiantly beautiful they are.

Changeseeker said...

I can relate to how you're feeling, Mary. Sometimes I look into the face of a young woman of color on campus and her pain is so palpable, I want to run up to her and say, "It's all a lie! You're not a bit less beautiful than Suzy Whitebread!" But, unfortunately, telling an individual girl she's beautiful, while important, is not very effective as long as the system overall is still so calculated to take her (and her brothers) down for the count. We have to rage against the machine in all its manifestations. Nobody's free till we're all free.

Peacechick Mary said...

Appearance is a currency, for sure and it hits both men and women, as it is geared to the young and slick. Then top that with all the negative feedback to blacks and it's a double whammy. It amazes me that the human spirit can fly at all given all the burdens society piles on it.

Changeseeker said...

For any who might be interested, you can receive a copy of this film on DVD by contacting Kristin Wernicke (kristin@reelworks.org) and asking for it. Donations to this organization that gives adolescents the opportunity to express themselves on film are gratefully appreciated.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I (both Hispanic) took our daughter to a sibling class at the hospital my son was going to be born at. The kids were asked to choose a doll to represent their sibling. My daughter who was 3 at the time choose a black doll. Everyone in our group was astonished that we as her parents did not switch the dolls. They looked at her and us in total shock, yet we couldn't see what was so wrong. To this day I have that picture of my daughter holding her baby and it reminds of their reactions.

Changeseeker said...

The other day, I was reminded of this film again when I saw an article about Kiri Davis in Jet, I think it was (it was probably an older issue, since I have a subscription and I get behind on them sometimes.)

I never gave my bi-racial daughter a "White" doll. Actually, I always managed to find dolls that had a skin tone similar to her own honey-colored tone. I wanted her "babies" to look like her. I wonder if she's ever given this a lick of thought (while I was SO committed to it all, remembering Brown v. Board of Ed)?

Anonymous said...

This racial issue is just one of many of the issues around the world. I don't understand how adults as we may call ourselves be so blinded to help someone in need instead of judging which color is prettier.

Changeseeker said...

I'm not sure I follow your thought here, Anonymous, so I haven't responded. Could you be a little more clear about your meaning?

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

Changeseeker said...

bronzetrinity: I ducked over there as soon as I read your comment. And I just posted an update, as well, to route other supporters over to the site to vote. Thanks for the heads-up, so we can all do our part.

Anonymous said...

In the 1970s when I was uprooted from my all black school, I was forced to attend an all white school that clearly did not want me. From first grade to six grade, I was the only african-american girl in my classes. Throughout those years, I was repeatedly told that "white is right, black is not". For a long time I hated being black because it seems my color was causing all the problem of people hating me, but as I continued in middle school through high school, I grew to be pride of the color of my skin, that allowed me to show pride in my color and of my ancestors. But, when "A Girl Like Me" came out, I took a look at my daughter and my three sons. I kids have friends of all races, but the thing that shocked me the most is that my boys do not trust black men to be around me. I soon realized why and I was freeze as to what to say or do about it. My ex-husband, whom is the father of all four of my children, was absuive and unloving towards me and because of that, he caused my three sons to hate black men, which tell me why they struggle with themselves today as young adults. I'm still struggling to help them see the reality of what they are doing to themselves by denying who they are and who they will become "A BLACK MAN".

Changeseeker said...

Anonymous: Raising children is always, in my opinion, an absolute head-butt. There are ENDLESS issues in virtually every case (no matter how good things look on the surface). Your sons need the professional help of a good Black therapist, counselor or social worker, if they'd be willing. It's unfortunate they had to see you abused, but now they need to sort all that out (regardless of what he looked like). And you probably do, too, even if you think it's all behind you. They may, quite frankly, be getting signals you're still vulnerable to all that. (Iyanla Van Zant has a whole string of books out that speak to the process of leaving this behind. The first one in the series is Yesterday, I Cried.)

There are many good books out there about relationships and other family stuff. One of my personal favorites is The Beautiful Struggle: a father, two sons, and an unlikely road to manhood by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Young black men get SO much input in our society about how worthless they are. Scroll down to the "Labels" list on the right hand side of this blog and check out the posts I labeled "young Black men" to see how many ways this manifests itself in their lives. Sigh.