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I personally think [African immigrants and their children] play a role. I think that, also, they’re understanding their role with America now being the place they live. Was it important for you to make the film and put the intra-racial issues into the light for people who might misunderstand it?
Well some people have asked me, “Why are you airing our dirty laundry?” But nothing ever happens without a conversation, and you generate a conversation by putting things in people’s faces. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. A gorgeous photo, but, in the '30s, most white Americans would not have been able to imagine an African-American icon.
When I looked through Lange's photos in the FSA-OWI archive, I was surprised to find not only so many Madonna figures, but Madonna figures of such ethnic diversity. Father washed the baby’s face with edge of blanket dampened from canteen, for the photographs. The women talk about relating to peers of different backgrounds, the disconnect between their parents’ and American culture, and claiming their place in the American tapestry.
For instance, I don’t have an accent or any of these things that society says is a mark of an immigrant, and the first thing people see is that I’m black.


I don’t think that the older generation doesn’t want to participate, they just don’t understand how to because there’s a cultural difference and a lack of education. If we are further divided then we can’t do as much to further the idea that black lives matter, and [that article] was divisive. I got a comment on a HuffPost article about my film—it actually came from one of my colleagues—saying, “Firstly, I support your creative and intellectual inquiry, I support you 100 percent, but I don’t support the mastication of black Americans. My work focuses on performing arts, media, and technology that are accessible to artists and audience members. The three older boys, ages twelve, sixteen, and eighteen, are needed at home to develop the farm and do not go to school. Went to Phoenix, picked cotton, pulled bolls made eighty cents a day with two people pulling bolls. I can tell you firsthand that I didn’t really learn about black consciousness until I was an undergrad at Bucknell University. Yes, it is a privilege to understand exactly where your family comes from and have links to your culture, but as you see in the film, it was also a disadvantage because I was born in America. The arts are used to spark dialogue, shatter stereotypes, and encourage interdependence and cooperative community change.


You cannot pretend that it doesn’t exist, especially if you’re living in low-income areas or communities of mostly people of color.
We all want to tell our experiences and lives, but we [can’t grow if we] don’t want to listen to each other. I love to hear that because it means they have some decision-making in how the film is made.
I don’t really like the dichotomy of one being better or more privileged than another because it’s relative. You don’t always see that in documentaries, especially one where the subjects are African-American and the filmmakers white. Likewise, Kiera has a disability, something that some filmmakers think can be a neat quirk to exploit for the audience’s fun.



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