The Doll Test Redone...15 out 21 still believe the white doll is prettier in 2005

A Girl Like Me
7:08 min
Youth Documentary
Kiri Davis, Director, Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, Producer

Winner of the Diversity Award
Sponsored by Third Millennium Foundation

More About A Girl Like Me from Director Kiri Davis
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.


  1. This was very interesting to me. But I wish the documentary would've put it in the perspective of mothers out there who praise the blackness in themselves and their daughters. Every day, Amelia and I pass by this mirror in our hallway on the way to the bedrooms and I say, "what a beautiful girl! What a beautiful baby! Oh Mommy loves this girl. And she smiles. I work hard at showing her positive reflections of herself because already through the TV the wrong messages are seeping through. I worked very hard one day to cut out every black or latino child about 7 issues of Baby and Parents magazines I could find. It shouldn't have been that hard. I put them together into a little chewy baby photo book she has. And now I "read to her" what the little happy children are doing and how about how beautiful I find them. Because I know the road I faced growing up black in a nation that insists on skewing the true American identity and imagery, I work hard - very hard at instilling pride and confidence in my little girl.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts