[Originally posted March 24, 2008 at 4:46 PM]
I teared when I first watched the film A Girl Like Me, directed by young Kiri Davis, 3 years ago. Below is a 7 minute clip.
This disturbing film documents the fact that the pivotal Kenneth and Mamie Clark experimental findings, are as valid today as they were in the 1930's. Sadly, our children still prefer the white doll to the Black doll.Used to argue several Brown vs. Board of Education law suits in support of integrated schools, the actual data set is rarely if ever examined.
In fact, the Clark's data actually revealed that more children in integrated northern schools preferred and would rather play with the white doll than children in segregated southern schools.
I'd bet you didn't know that.
Moreover, the Clarks found that after Black children entered segregated schools, they approved more highly of the Black dolls. Translation: during the formative years, Black children feel better about themselves when educated in a nurturing environment of adults and children who look like them.
One of the actual data sets:
Children at northern, integrated schools vs. Children at southern, segregated schools
Prefer to play with white doll: 72% vs. 62%
White doll is "nice" 68% vs. 52%
Black doll is "bad" 71% vs. 49%
None of the numbers above are good, but the trend is undeniable. What can I say except, 'Don't believe the hype.'
Support African-centered Saturday programs like the one my son has attended at Nsoromma School.
Finally, there is a wonderful article about sisterlocks, our daughters, self esteem and locking children's hair in Vol. 2, No. 2. of the Sisterlocks Journal. Giovonnie Samuels, the sisterlocked, Nickelodeon child-star is on the cover.Dr. JoAnne Cornwell the innovator of sisterlocks has an academic appointment in the Department of Africana Studies at San Diego State University.)