Personal Stories of Race & Identity in the Proverbial Melting Pot

About

Photo by Tasra Dawson

How It All Began

I was having lunch at Micky D’s with my then 15 year old daughter Imahni. It was a Saturday afternoon—the day I take the kids out to give mom her weekly dose of R&R. Imahni had recently finished watching Chris Rock’s hilarious documentary “Good Hair.” I knew they covered some topics in that movie that would be intriguing to Imahni. Given her younger childhood, she had never been exposed to some of the racially infused drama surrounding the topic of “good hair” in the African American community. I was curious to hear her reactions to African American woman (those with and without “good” hair). The conversation then evolved into her own experiences growing up as the daughter of a blond-haired, green-eyed single mom for seven years.

I was blessed to become Imahni’s dad shortly before she turned eight. I think it’s very cool that because I’m black, when our family is together, the natural assumption is she’s my biological daughter. The funny thing is, she does kinda look like me. Furthermore, she is way more like me personality-wise than she is her mother.

Anyway, the thoughts and feelings she shared with me were mesmerizing. It was killing me that I didn’t have a camera on her; or the very least a digital recorder to get this for posterity. By the end of that conversation, I knew I would make a documentary on this subject.

So…I am.

What is it?

Mixed in America will be a series of short films each highlighting a different person. What sets this documentary apart from others on this topic is that I will take a storytelling approach vs. a typical “head shot” documentary approach. You will feel like you’re watching a narrative short with voice over as opposed to a documentary. Creative license will be taken to make the stories interesting and engaging. Most of all, it is my hope that when you watch it, you will empathize with the “characters.” It won’t just be an objective appreciation for race relations that may or may not personally relate to you. But rather an emotional journey you will relate to because the themes will be universal in nature. Because when you get right down to it, we all just want to fit in.

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