skin color

In 2006, I tried writing a script for the first time and the following is what I came up with:

SKIN
An original script
by Dangerous Lee

July 2006 Draft

1. BLACK SCREEN: Sound of baby crying.
2. INT: Hospital Delivery Room
A beautiful black baby is born and crying. The doctor and nurses are all in shock. We then see the mother and father who are white.

MOTHER
“What is it? What’s wrong?”

The child is then turned towards the mother and father. The father looks at his wife accusingly and begins to walk away. The mother looks at child and screams.

3. Int. Hospital Room in same hospital.
Black woman has given birth to a white child and she and her husband are trying to calmly discuss the situation.

MOTHER
“It may be albino!”

FATHER
“Albino babies do not have brown hair.”

MOTHER
“Baby, I did not cheat on you, so there is no need for a DNA test but if that is what you want then go ahead and pull a Maury Povich on me!”

FATHER
(raising voice)
“I am most definitely getting a DNA test! I really don’t need one! Two black people cannot create a white baby!”

The mother starts to cry. At the same time a nurse brings in the baby for a feeding.
4. Int. Zoom to television in room

Special News Report

REPORTER
“All across the country there are reports of families giving birth to children who do not share the same skin color, but after having numerous DNA tests it shows that these children do indeed belong to them…”


I wrote this before I knew anything about Sandra Laing, a woman who comes from at least three generations of White ancestors but appears Black (of African descent). She is an example of atavism. Her family was unaware of their African roots.

I have never seen it, but a movie about her life, also titled Skin, was released in 2008.

Her true life story is freakishly similar to my fictional tale. When I wrote it I had no idea that something like this could really happen.

Nothing ever came of this script but a three-part essay series I wrote and published in 2010 called The Half Series – When Black People Look White tackles colorism and my experience with skin color and race as the mother of a “mixed” child.

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