Roland S. Martin’s Take on Colorism

Acura found itself in a bit of hot water this week when it was revealed that a casting agency in Los Angeles only desired DarkGirlslight-skinned African-American actors for the company’s Super Bowl commercial, featuring Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld.

The company apologized, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of the chatter criticizing Acura for not doing more to keep the casting agency in check. This really isn’t a new story, considering how many times in the past we’ve heard similar stories — including advertising agencies having nonurban dictates, refusing to place buy advertising space on black-focused radio, TV, magazine and online properties.

Worldwide, nearly $500 million is spent on bleaching products, an effort for people with darker skin to lighten their skin. This is pretty laughable, considering the lengths some whites go to darken their skin through tanning beds and sprays. (I still am trying to figure out the skin tone of House Speaker John Boehner.)

But there is another critical discussion that must be had, and that is the belief that the lighter your skin is the better your life will be.

The effects of this mindset are examined in the new documentary “Dark Girls,” produced by actor/director Bill Duke and directed by Chan Berry.

“Dark Girls” explores the pain that is associated with having dark skin, even re-creating the white doll/black doll studies made famous by Dr. Kenneth Clark, which played a crucial role in the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.

Read the full piece here.