|Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-08-26 01:58Z by Steven|
The Times of Israel
Lacey Schwartz’s film about reconciling her hidden black paternity to the Ashkenazi Jewish home she was raised in strikes universal themes
SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — When Lacey Schwartz celebrated her bat mitzvah more than two decades ago in her hometown of Woodstock, New York, a synagogue-goer turned to her and said, “It’s so nice to have an Ethiopian Jew in our midst.”
Never mind that Schwartz, a striking 37-year-old with long black curls and a megawatt smile, is about as American as they come. Raised by two Ashkenazi Jewish parents in a largely white, upstate New York town, Schwartz’s complexion — darker than that of her relatives — had long been attributed to a Sicilian grandfather.
Despite lingering questions, she believed the story. But when Schwartz enrolled at Georgetown University and the Black Student Alliance sent her a welcome letter based on a picture she submitted, Schwartz could no longer deny something was amiss.
She confronted her mother, Peggy Schwartz, only to discover that her biological father was a black man named Rodney with whom she had had an affair.
The discovery of her family secret and Schwartz’s coming to terms with her newly complex racial identity serves as the basis for “Little White Lie,” a moving documentary that had its official world premiere at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival last Sunday following screenings in Cape Cod, Mass., and Philadelphia…
…While Schwartz the filmmaker has embraced her black identity, it has not been at the expense of the strong Jewish cultural identity she developed during her formative years. Some of the earliest stirrings of the film came through her work with Reboot, a hand-picked collective of Jewish creative professionals who come together to explore meaning, community and identity…
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