Tika Sumpter has majored in communications at Marymount Manhattan College, USA.During her struggled period she modeled and appeared in commercials.I experienced that same emotion when I began my role as Raina Thorpe on the popular CW show Gossip Girl a few years back.I was truly unprepared for the tremendous impact I’d have while on that show.“Dark Girls,” which aired on Sunday on OWN, unearthed memories of colorism for a number of dark-skinned women who watched the documentary, including actress Tika Sumpter.Moved by the testimonies of women and children in “Dark Girls,” Sumpter penned an article for The Daily Beast about her personal experience as a dark-skinned actress in Hollywood.Here are a few excerpts: “My mother says that when my father, a striking man with kind eyes, broad shoulders, and deep ebony-brown skin, first saw me in the hospital […], his eyes lit up brightly as he promptly proclaimed, “She has my color. ” Though I obviously have no recollection of that day at all, I’m quite certain that hearing that story heavily influenced the ways in which I’ve been able to navigate my journey as a woman, an African-American woman, and a woman of a darker hue.” “I was recently reminded of my childhood as I watched the amazing documentary Dark Girls.My heart broke just listening to the stories of so many young girls with brown skin traumatized by the cruel and hurtful views of those around them.
“Who hasn’t heard the obligatory, ‘You’re pretty for a dark-skin[ned] girl’?Tika Sumpter plays Lucille as a quiet temptress who wants nothing more than to please her lover, and shares her without jealousy or rage. And then Queen was a part of it and I was like oh my god.Although things don’t work out for the two of them to be together forever, Lucille’s appreciation for Bessie the person and not Bessie the star makes her the most honest and loving person in Bessie’s life. It was funny, it was heartfelt, dealt with issues—I loved it. [Lucille] had such heart and she says a lot through her eyes.Somebody recorded her talking about the experiences she had with Bessie, so actually Queen Latifah put me onto that and oh my god, it’s crazy. But then also this book is where I learned about this dancer named Lilliana, and they basically had a relationship and they were definitely involved, but she was afraid of Jack G because she knew how violent he could be.She knew this is something that Bessie wasn’t supposed to really be doing but Bessie was who she was and did she wanted to do, and Jack G did what he wanted to do.Which really meant they’d never seen anyone that looked like them before. Some fans even remarked that they’d never witnessed any woman with my skin color speak the way I spoke, have a successful career the way I had on that show, or carry themselves in such a ladylike manner.” “Of course I did experienced my share of hurtful reactions to my skin color, but thankfully only after I was an adult.