Lacey Schwartz Unearths Family Secrets in ‘Little White Lie’

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States on 2015-04-14 16:52Z by Steven

Lacey Schwartz Unearths Family Secrets in ‘Little White Lie’

KCRW 89.9 MHz FM
Santa Monica, California
2015-04-13

Kim Masters, Host

Kaitlin Parker, Producer

Lacey Schwartz grew up thinking she was white. When her college labeled her a black student based on a photograph, she knew she had to get some explanations from her family. Those conversations formed the foundation of her new PBS documentary Little White Lie. She shares how she convinced her parents to talk about tough topics on camera and why documentaries like hers are in danger of being pushed out of primetime on some PBS stations.

Listen to the episode (00:29:07) here. Download the episode here.

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Little White Lie

Posted in Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, United States, Videos on 2015-03-24 00:08Z by Steven

Little White Lie

Independent Lens
Public Broadcasting Service
Monday, 2015-03-23, 22:00 EDT (21:00 CDT) (check schedule here)

Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical upper-middle-class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity — despite the open questions from those around her about how a white girl could have such dark skin. She believes her family’s explanation that her looks were inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather. But when her parents abruptly split, her gut starts to tell her something different.

At age 18, she finally confronts her mother and learns the truth: her biological father was not the man who raised her, but an African American man named Rodney with whom her mother had had an affair. Afraid of losing her relationship with her parents, Lacey doesn’t openly acknowledge her newly discovered black identity with her white family. When her biological father dies shortly before Lacey’s 30th birthday, the family secret can stay hidden no longer. Following the funeral, Lacey begins a quest to reconcile the hidden pieces of her life and heal her relationship with the only father she ever knew.

Schwartz pieces together her family history and the story of her dual identity using home videos, archival footage, interviews, and episodes from her own life. Little White Lie is a personal documentary about the legacy of family secrets, denial, and redemption.

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Episode Six: A More Perfect Union

Posted in Barack Obama, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2014-11-09 17:53Z by Steven

Episode Six: A More Perfect Union

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.)
Public Broadcasting Service
Tuesdays, 2013-10-22 through 2013-11-26, 20:00-21:00 ET

From Black Power to Black President

By 1968, the Civil Rights movement had achieved stunning victories, in the courts and in the Congress. But would African Americans finally be allowed to achieve genuine racial equality? Episode Six, A More Perfect Union (1968-2013), looks at the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the rise of the Black Panthers and Black Power movement.  The decline of cities that African Americans had settled in since the Great Migration, the growth of a black middle class, the vicious beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles and the ascent of Barack Obama from Illinois senator to the presidency of the United States are all addressed in the final episode of The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. Revisit images of the Black is Beautiful movement and hear commentary from former Black Panther Party member Kathleen Cleaver, former Secretary of State Colin H. Powell, musician Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, and many more…

For more information, click here.

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Born Champions [Full Episode]

Posted in Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Slavery, United States, Videos on 2014-10-02 01:45Z by Steven

Born Champions [Full Episode]

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
2014-09-30

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Host and Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research
Harvard University

Three of America’s greatest athletes, whose determination and love of sports were deeply shaped by their families, were all cut off from their true origins. Billie Jean King learns the story of her grandmother. Derek Jeter confronts his ancestors’ lives as slaves. Rebecca Lobo finds out that her Spanish ancestor fought side by side with a famous revolutionary.

Watch the full episode here.

Partial Transcript below:

GATES: I’M HENRY LOUIS GATES JR. WELCOME TO FINDING YOUR ROOTS.

TONIGHT, WE REVEAL THE ANCESTRY OF THREE OF AMERICA’S GREATEST ATHLETES: TENNIS LEGEND BILLIE JEAN KING, YANKEES ALL-STAR DEREK JETER, AND WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PIONEER REBECCA LOBO… ATHLETES WHOSE PURPOSE AND DRIVE WERE PROFOUNDLY SHAPED BY THEIR FAMILIES.

TO DISCOVER THEIR ANCESTORS, WE’VE USED EVERY TOOL AVAILABLE…

GENEALOGISTS HELPED STITCH TOGETHER THE PAST USING THE PAPER TRAIL THEIR FAMILIES LEFT BEHIND, WHILE GENETICISTS UTILIZED THE LATEST ADVANCES IN DNA ANALYSIS TO REVEAL SECRETS HUNDREDS OF YEARS OLD.

GATES: The answers are in this book…

GATES VO: AND WE’VE COMPILED EVERYTHING INTO A BOOK OF LIFE, A RECORD OF ALL OF OUR DISCOVERIES…

LOBO: I mean it’s just amazing to see her handwriting!

JETER: That’s unbelievable… all the way back to 1605!

BILLIE JEAN KING: This is from a bible?  Family…we have a family bible?

GATES: Mhm.

BILLIE JEAN KING: This (audio cuts off 1:01:04:12) is fantastic!

GATES: AS WE TRACE BILLIE JEAN, DEREK, AND REBECCA’S ROOTS, WE’LL EXPLORE HOW THEY BECAME CHAMPIONS, DID THEY COME TO GREATNESS THROUGH HARD WORK AND INDIVIDUAL EFFORT? IS THEIR TALENT SIMPLY ENCODED IN THEIR GENES? COULD IT BE, THESE THREE ATHLETES WERE MODELED IN WAYS THEY NEVER COULD HAVE IMAGINED? BY THE LIVES OF THEIR ANCESTORS.

ROOTS TITLE SEQUENCE…

…GATES VO: DEREK’S FATHER, CHARLES JETER, IS AFRICAN-AMERICAN AND HIS MOTHER, DOROTHY CONNORS, IS OF IRISH DESCENT. IT WASN’T EASY BEING THE CHILD OF A MIXED MARRIAGE. WHEN DEREK WAS YOUNG, HE OFTEN HAD TO FACE UNWANTED ATTENTION.

JETER: You know back in the day, yeah you’d get some second glances, people trying to figure out what the dynamic is there. And if you go somewhere with both of them, obviously you get some stares.

GATES: Mhm.

JETER: My parents tried to explain to us that it’s just people’s ignorance they’re not used to seeing it.

GATES: Did your parents take any flack?

JETER: I think when you’re a young child, I think your parents don’t necessarily tell you how difficult it was…

GATES: Yeah.

JETER: …on them. So, you know, a lot of their troubles that they went through, I’m sure they sheltered us from it.

GATES:  So when people come up to you and say, you know, “What are you?” what do you say?

JETER:  Black and Irish…

GATES: Black and Irish, that’s what you say?

JETER: Yeah, that’s, that’s what I believe I am but I don’t know much about my history…

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Finding Your Roots: The Official Companion to the PBS Series

Posted in Books, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2014-10-01 14:51Z by Steven

Finding Your Roots: The Official Companion to the PBS Series

University of North Carolina Press
September 2014
352 pages
6.125 x 9.25, index
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4696-1800-5

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research
Harvard University

Who are we, and where do we come from? The fundamental drive to answer these questions is at the heart of Finding Your Roots, the companion book to the PBS documentary series seen by 30 million people. As Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. shows us, the tools of cutting-edge genomics and deep genealogical research now allow us to learn more about our roots, looking further back in time than ever before. Gates’s investigations take on the personal and genealogical histories of more than twenty luminaries, including United States Congressman John Lewis, actor Robert Downey Jr., CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, President of the “Becoming American Institute” Linda Chavez, and comedian Margaret Cho. Interwoven with their moving stories of immigration, assimilation, strife, and success, Gates provides practical information for amateur genealogists just beginning archival research on their own families’ roots, and he details the advances in genetic research now available to the public. The result is an illuminating exploration of who we are, how we lost track of our roots, and how we can find them again.

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Many Rivers to Cross: From Black Power to the Black President

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-11-26 21:57Z by Steven

Many Rivers to Cross: From Black Power to the Black President

The Root
2013-11-26

Peniel E. Joseph, Professor of History
Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

In the sixth and final installment of his PBS series, Henry Louis Gates Jr. leads us from the black power movement to the historic election of Barack Obama.

Americans have notoriously short memories when it comes to race and history, especially black history. And it’s in that context that Harvard professor and The Root’s editor-in-chief, Henry Louis Gates Jr., has looked back through time to bring us The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, a six-part documentary film, airing on PBS, that concludes tonight and that has offered an important capstone to a year full of important civil rights anniversaries.

Over the past five weeks, the series has taken viewers to locations around the world to explore the origins of trans-Atlantic slavery, plumb the depth of America’s antebellum era and chronicle the exploits for black political, economic and cultural self-determination in the Civil War’s bloody aftermath.

And after watching this series, which is a timely corrective to contemporary discourse around race relations, all Americans will gain a better understanding of the way in which both the distant and recent past continue to shape and inform our national present…

Read the entire article here.

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Brazil in Black and White

Posted in Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Videos on 2013-11-12 02:09Z by Steven

Brazil in Black and White

Wide Angle
Public Broadcasting Service
2007-09-04

About the Issue

As one of the most racially diverse nations in the world, Brazil has long considered itself a colorblind “racial democracy.” But deep disparities in income, education and employment between lighter and darker-skinned Brazilians have prompted a civil rights movement advocating equal treatment of Afro-Brazilians. In Brazil, the last country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery, blacks today make up almost half of the total population — but nearly two-thirds of the nation’s poor. Institutions of higher education have typically been monopolized by Brazil’s wealthy and light-skinned elite, and illiteracy among black Brazilians is twice as high as among whites. Now, affirmative action programs are changing the rules of the game, with many colleges and universities reserving 20% of spots for Afro-Brazilians. But with national surveys identifying over 130 different categories of skin color, including “cinnamon,” “coffee with milk,” and “toasted,” who will be considered “black enough” to qualify for the new racial quotas?

About The Film

“Am I black or am I white?” Even before they ever set foot in a college classroom, many Brazilian university applicants must now confront a question with no easy answer. Brazil in Black and White follows the lives of five young college hopefuls from diverse backgrounds as they compete to win a coveted spot at the elite University of Brasilia, where 20 percent of the incoming freshmen must qualify as Afro-Brazilian. Outside the university, Wide Angle reports on the controversial racial debate roiling Brazil through profiles of civil right activists, opponents of affirmative action, and one of the country’s few black senators.

For more information, click here.

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Which Italian American player for the Brooklyn Dodgers once hit 40 home runs in a season?

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2013-04-06 00:03Z by Steven

My favorite trivia question in baseball is, “Which Italian American player for the Brooklyn Dodgers once hit 40 home runs in a season?” Nobody ever gets it right, because the answer is Roy Campanella, who was as Italian as he was black. He had an Italian father and a black mother, but he’s always classified as black. You see, American racial classification is totally cultural, and it’s based on the unfortunate and sad legacy of racial distinction based on this ridiculous metaphor, the purity of blood.

You’re identifiable as having black ancestry because we can see it. I mean, who’s Tiger Wood, who’s Colin Powell? Colin Powell is as Irish as he is African, but we don’t classify him as that.

No, we have a really screwed up classification. To think it’s biological is just plain wrong. It’s based, flat-out, on the legacy of racism and the metaphor of the purity of the blood. It’s a very troubling issue.

RACE—The Power of an Illusion: Background Readings: Interview with Stephen Jay Gould,” Public Broadcasting Service (2003). http://www.pbs.org/race/000_About/002_04-background-01-09.htm.

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Left By the Ship

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, Videos on 2012-05-26 14:36Z by Steven

Left By the Ship

Independent Lens
Public Broadcasting Service
2010

Filmmakers:

Emma Rossi-Landi
Alberto Vendemmiati

 In the 1970s and 1980s, the world was touched by the stories of Amerasian children, the offspring of U.S. military personnel stationed in Asia and the Pacific in the aftermath of World War II, and during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Many of these children were born to impoverished prostitutes who worked on the outskirts of the American military bases, and left behind by their American fathers as soon as their deployment ended.

In 1982, the United States Congress passed the Amerasian Act to allow Amerasian children and their parents from Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, and other Asian countries, to relocate to the United States. One of the exceptions was the Philippines, where the United States military maintained active military bases into the 1990s (Japan was also left out of the legislation). Children of U.S. soldiers and Filipino citizens are not covered by the Amerasian Act — they have to be claimed by their American fathers to be permitted to claim a right to relocate or take advantage of the Child Citizenship Act, which gives citizenship rights to children of American citizens.

…An estimated 50,000 Amerasians live in the Philippines today. As in other Asian countries, these mixed-race young people (especially kids of African American servicemen) often face discrimination and are ostracized. Some were abandoned as infants, and many are teased for being “illegitimate” children of presumed prostitutes and fathers who abandoned them. They are routinely labelled “Iniwan ng Barko” (left by the ship)…

For more information, click here.

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Are You an Indian?

Posted in Anthropology, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Videos on 2012-03-02 02:13Z by Steven

Are You an Indian?

Public Broadcasting Service
Independent Lens
Premiere Date: 2011-11-17
Duration: 00:05:25

Though their ethnicities are mixed, the Wampanoag take pride in their tribal heritage.

In this companion piece to the documentary film We Still Live Here—Âs Nutayuneân, Wampanoag tribal members discuss how their multicultural heritage both complicates and enriches their identities as Native American people.

Watch Are You an Indian? on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.

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