Thursday, February 08, 2007

USA incorporated racism

A Girl Like Me

Youth Documentary

Kiri Davis, Director, Reel Works Teen Filmmaking,

7:08 minutes

For my high-school literature class I was constructing an anthology with a
wide range of different stories that I believed reflected the black girl’s
experience. For the different chapters, I conducted interviews with a
variety of black girls in my high school, and a number of issues surfaced
concerning the standards of beauty imposed on today’s black girls and how
this affects their self-image. I thought this topic would make an
interesting film and so when I was accepted into the Reel Works Teen
Filmmaking program, I set out to explore these issues. I also decided to
would reconduct the “doll test” initially conducted by Dr. Kenneth Clark,
which was used in the historic desegregation case, Brown vs. Board of
Education. I thought that by including this experiment in my film, I would
shed new light on how society affects black children today and how little
has actually changed.

With help from my mentor, Shola Lynch, and thanks to the honesty and
openness of the girls I interviewed, I was able to complete my first
documentary in the fall of 2005. I learned that giving the girls an
opportunity to talk about these issues and their experiences helped us all
to look deeper and examine the many things in society that affect us and
shape who we are.

Winner of the Diversity Award
Sponsored by Third Millennium Foundation

Kiri Davis, Director know from an early ago that film was a medium I
wanted to work in. Through my films I’ve found a way of expressing myself
as well as telling the stories that are important to me. At sixteen, I
directed my first documentary, A Girl Like Me. Before that, I created
numerous short films and attended the New York Film Academy. I would love
to pursue a career in filmmaking as well as to explore my passions for
acting and writing. I have a love of traveling, which affords me the
opportunity to meet new people and explore other cultures. My goal is to
develop more projects that will help my community and give a much needed
voice to issues that pertain to people of color. I am currently attending
Urban Academy, a NYC public high school, and I live with my mother in
Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Kiri Davis , a 17-year old high school student, produced one of the more
stunning docs in my opinion, at least in recent memory. It's based on the
1950s Baby Doll experiment where little black kids were given a choice
between a black/african american toy doll and a white/caucasian one and
asked to place value judgements on the doll--which is prettier, smarter,
more civilized, etc.

Invariably, over 80% of the black kids picked the white doll as being the
smartest, prettiest, etc. and went so far as to note that whites were just

Kiri Davis did a similar doc a few weeks back. Here's what she found. It's
causing a national stir.

Download the 7 minute movie -- "save for Ipod", then play with VLC free

54mB mov torrent download (use the free Opera 9 browser!)


The vid is deep. These girls didnt really go on a racist pity party tip.
They were just looking internally at black self-esteem. they didnt say
that anyone was causing it. they were just asking why black people feel
the way they do about being dark etc. they have obviously moved beyond
causation to the stage where they just want black people to fix their own
view of themselves. no malicious intent there.
posted Nov 16, 2006

If you LIKE THIS, you should WATCH the PBS documentary, AFFLUENZA.
I had a buddy, who used to laugh at me and say, "Vanity, thy name is
Woman" .

Great film, however, I'm a little disturbed about the girls saying they
don't have a culture because they don't know what country in Africa
they're from. Maybe instead of looking for our culture in a continent
we've never been to, we should begin to identify our culture with America.
If we keep looking at ourselves as being only African, we just continue to
divide ourselves along racial lines. Let’s stop focusing on our
differences and begin looking at ourselves as Americans, or better yet, as
human beings
posted Sep 8, 2006 by Rachel

I went to Africa on business several years ago and immediately realized
that none of the black women straightened their hair and I found it
beautiful. When I returned to the US, I was shocked by how many black
women straightened their hair. On TV, all of them do. Look at Oprah - she
should set an example but she is a culture whore.
posted Sep 7, 2006 by Macaca

Very interesting...I found the doll-part very concerning, it's really
terrible that a little girl can just sit and say that the doll with dark
skin is the evil one and the doll with white skin is good, and then admit
that the dark doll looks more like her.
posted Sep 6, 2006 by Chickdude

I thought it was outstanding. It was a very honest personal look at the
effect of cultural values, popular culture, and how deeply ingrained the
sickness of racism is in all of us. Racism produces an inferiority complex
in its intended victims and a superiority complex in the perpetrators.
It's so powerful that the dynamic seeps into the collective consciousness
of a nation, even one such as ours where equality and freedom are supposed
to be our core values.
posted Aug 30, 2006 by Anonymous

mizmeeka87 (22 hours ago)
This video is extremely thought-provoking; one that sheds light on an
issue we know exists but that much of black culture aims to sweep under
the proverbial rug. Low self esteem and blatant self hatred stem from
centuries of abuse both from other cultures and among our own people. Very
sad that even our babies are playing into the "white is beautiful"
ideology. Change is soooo necessary and we as a people need it now . . .

lisaalexsis (2 days ago)
the little girls' self-hatred is so evident that i nearly cried. when i
was a little girl, i used look at my white dolls, t.v. shows, movies, etc.
and wish i was white or lighter skinned. eventually i had to snap MYSELF
out it and disregard the all negative messages from society and the media
about blackness.

Angelmx86 (3 days ago)
Great Video. You people said that you're american, that this land is
yours. You people are wrong. The true american are red skin. You people
said that the american race is white are wrong because your heritage is
from the "barbarian" people of North Europe. When you were death, who will
keep the land? In Europe'll be the Arabian People. In America'll be the
Latin American People. Stop being silly and try to be happy with your
neighborgs even if they are yellow or red or brown or black or white.

Solsticester (4 days ago)
This is an absolutely stunning film. To know that Kiri is only 17 should
be a serious wake up call for this country. Congratulations, Kiri, for
tackling this subject head on. We need more kids like you in this world.
YOU are the change we want to see. Keep spreading the word. Maybe in the
next 50 yrs the next young filmmaker that takes on this subject will be
able to report some positive change. And kudos to the parties that allowed
these kids to see that the can be proud of who they are.

more videos:

Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at 5:26 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home