This is a trailer from the from some of the discovery interviews and pieces for the premise of the movie. It was shocking even to myself (Jason Fischer) of being biracial of black and white. The stories told from these women where so powerful that I had to take a closer look not only at them but at my own personal experience. We are going to be looking for people share their stories soon for the movie so if you know of anyone who cares to share or wants to watch this process unfold then please share these clips.
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"Can't pass for white and not black enough."
There is a part of the Midwestern Experience rarely discussed, rarely displayed, rarely acknowledged, that, with the election of our first Bi-racial President has begun to shed light and open dialogue regarding the Bi-racial experience. Here in Nebraska, the Bi-racial experience is quite different than that of our east and west coast counterparts. In our proposed documentary, Gray Matter, we (Jason R. Fischer and Michelle E. Troxclair) explore and show the rich, triumphant and sometimes tragic stories of those who have had the great fortune or misfortune of having one black parent and one white.
The depth of racial division is this country can’t be defined any better than by those who have been forced by their mere existence to straddle the turbulent waters of hatred, distrust and guilt. This project seeks to educate those who have worked with, gone to school with and befriended bi-racial people so that understanding and acceptance can occur. It also seeks to let other bi-racial people of this region know that they are not alone and that their uniqueness should be celebrated.
With this documentary, it is our wish to show the intricacies of living a duality rooted in the very difficult, racially charged environment frequently not discussed or portrayed: for to do so would be to admit that the mixed race individual who has spent a lifetime trying to blend in, really is, in fact, different. There is an isolation that occurs as each race determines its boundaries for inclusion and exclusion. And, young children (mostly born of the 1960’s-70’s) found themselves having to learn the rules without error or deviation lest be outcast. This is a group who found themselves having to defend their appearance, having a need to be accepted and to fit in, having to deal with the pain of rejection, having to deal with guilt of light-skinned privilege, and ultimately having to find their own identity and place in the world. History has not been kind. The road to equality often found bi-racial people left out in the cold. To African Americans, bi-racial people truly did not ‘know’ the struggle. And to whites, bi-racial people were still-- black. The journey has been a long treacherous one.
In our research with participants, commonalities of experience have been noted. Many have been abandoned by parents (many adopted or farmed out to foster homes), excluded by family, ostracized by peers, considered or attempted suicide, suffered guilt for receiving certain privileges not afforded other blacks, are artistically and/or creatively inclined, and/or have gone to extremes in relationships. The road to personal acceptance and self-identity is one not only wrought with pain, but also with resilience and tenacity. Our research spurred us on as we believed that it was important to reach out and educate.
We hope that this documentary will give a voice to a segment of our population that has lived quietly in the shadows—trying to blend in as best they can. When notice went out regarding the project, we received great feedback and desire to participate. We anticipate that this will be an educational experience for them and all who view it.