Graduation Date

Fall 12-15-2017

Grading Professor

Yoruba Richen

Subject Concentration


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


My mom is the daughter of 2nd generation Swedish and Danish immigrants and my dad is the son of Jamaican immigrants, who settled in the segregated city of Baltimore just months before his birth in a black-only hospital. In the eyes of Americans, they were a white woman and a black man embarking on a relationship that was less than palatable to many in this country-- including my mom’s own family.

Growing up, society was constantly forcing me to question my identity, but it was also true within the context of my mom’s side of the family. There was always a feeling of being considered “other” during those gatherings. On more than one occasion, those instances escalated into dog whistling and racist remarks. Growing up we were always prompted to go along to get along, which called for so much to be ignored and swept under the rug. While my instinct at times was to write off that side of me all together, it always came down to the question of the meaning of family if love was enough. Now at 27, with a heightened sense of divisiveness playing out on the national stage, I could not help but draw the parallels that exist among members of my own family. Through this film, I decided to confront the issues my family has long avoided and finally attempt to have those tough conversations. Through the use of interviews with the relatives and archival footage I present the audience with my struggle with both family and identity and the hope for common ground.



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