At the beginning of Antreise Lacey's short film, faces of young African-American women flash on the screen. They each say a phrase: either "light skin" or "dark skin."
Lacey is 18 and just graduated from Widefield High School outside of Colorado Springs. She made the film, "Shade," when she was still in school, and noticed other students classifying each other with these terms. The women in the film explain why the terms bother them, and how it has affected their self-esteem. One, Nekoda Stacker, says, "Team light skin to this generation is everything good, everything positive, everything cute, everything a girl would wanna be. Team dark skins are cockroaches, girls that start fights, baby mamas with the attitude, team dark skins are every adjective that's negative, cruel, angry, all those belong to team dark skin."
Lacey recently screened the film in Washington, D.C., for Democratic U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, along with other students who participated in the Youth Documentary Academy in Colorado Springs. The students also met with Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and Rep. Ken Buck, R-Greeley. Next Lacey will attend Hosftra University in New York, where she intends to double major in film and mass communications with a minor in acting. She and Stacker spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.