The Souls of Black Girls is an award-winning provocative news documentary that raises the question of whether or not women of color may be suffering from a self-image disorder as a result of trying to attain the standards of beauty that are celebrated in media images. The candid piece features interviews with young women discussing their self-image as well as social commentary from Rapper/Political Activist Chuck D, Actresses Regina King and Jada Pinkett Smith, PBS Washington Week Moderator Gwen Ifill and Cultural Critic Michaela Angela Davis, among others.
Since its completion, The Souls of Black Girls, has been screened and overwhelmingly well-received by audiences at film festivals and more than 100 private screenings at various institutions, organizations and colleges/universities. Most recently, the film was featured as the centerpiece of Procter & Gamble's national "My Black is Beautiful" campaign where its Producer shared the message of the piece as a celebrity panelist of the signature "My Black is Beautiful" tour.
"Too often our girls do not rise to their full potential because they are so affected by the image that others project of them. It's good to have something that helps us understand what's happening to our girls," said Dr. Dorothy Height, Chair of the National Council of Negro Women. "This film was the answer to a prayer". Building on the critical recognition of the film, By Her Productions is in development for the sequel to the documentary called "The Souls of Black Girls, Too".
Meet Daphne Valerius, one to watch as the era of women of color redefining the landscape of media images –in front and behind the camera—begins to unfold. A native of Rhode Island by way of Brooklyn, New York —Host, Producer and Entrepreneur Daphne Valerius has journeyed into the successful pursuit of redefining the landscape of media images with an array of talent that navigates her both in front and behind the camera. Valerius’ passion for the media industry began during her undergraduate studies at St. John’s University. She went on to complete her Masters in Broadcast Journalism at Emerson College, where she received the esteemed Associated Press Award for Public Affairs and produced her award-winning documentary, The Souls of Black Girls.
Among other achievements, the success of The Souls of Black Girls has garnered Valerius the support of the late Dr. Dorothy Height, the Mira Nair Award for Rising Female Filmmaker from the Harlem Int'l Film Festival and being named among the Best Black Documentary Directors of 2008. Notably, Valerius was featured as a panelist of Procter & Gamble's 2009 national "My Black is Beautiful" Tour where her documentary, The Souls of Black Girls was used as a centerpiece for discussion. Most recently Valerius was an invited guest of First Lady Michelle Obama to the White House as a result of her work.
With profound commitment to her craft, Valerius sets out to influence, inspire, uplift and serve women and girls through positive, educational television, film and fashion projects. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Valerius remains an active community leader while traveling throughout the country to promote the messages conveyed in her film. Her television production credits include work for networks such as ABC, FOX and BET. She is currently working on her upcoming television pilot called "The Block" and the sequel to her documentary, "The Souls of Black Girls, Too".
Written, Edited & Produced by
Darlise Blount, Producer
Chuck D, Rapper/Political Activist
Michaela Angela Davis, Cultural Critic
Dr. Lez Edmond, African-American Historian
Pamela Edwards, ESSENCE
C’Nay Hines, BET
Gwen Ifill, PBS Washington Week
Juanita Jennings, Actress
Regina King, Actress
Katie Magrane, Youth Advocate
Amelia Marshall, Actress
Kadija Minah, Producer
Kenyetta Smith, Screenwriter
Jada Pinkett Smith, Actress
Original Music Provided by
Audio/Mix & Re-recording
Almost a decade has come and gone since the production of the original film and within that time there has also been a shift in the media portrayal of black women - good, bad and indifferent. The Souls of Black Girls, Too will further discuss the existing landscape of media images, how media images have changed over the last decade, picking up where The Souls of Black Girls left off.
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