Processing Identity

In this clip from the documentary film "Little White Lie," filmmaker Lacey Schwartz reflects on what it means to be biracial.

Transcript (PDF)

Transcript (Text)

Lacey Schwartz
Now that I knew that I had a black parent – that I was actually black. I wasn’t sure what to do with the part of myself that was White.

Lacey Schwartz
Let me ask you a question. Is being bi-racial, half-black/half-white, a category of being black? Like I think of it…

Zuhairah
Definitely…

Mehret
Yeah.

Lacey Schwartz
I think of it that way I identify as black. Like being mixed is a category of being black. Being mixed to me is not a category of being white.

Zuhairah
It’s so funny because you know the one drop rule – right? So it’s like one drop of black blood you black so there’s all these people who we accept in. You know like tiger and his cabalasion self. Everyone’s like – yeah – we are claiming that. It is an inclusive-It is…  It’s beyond race to me. Like even when I was in India recently.  Its kind of brown people. Like after there were no black people I was like the Indian girl looked cool. I was like “Hey girl! [LAUGHING] Some brown in the building. It’s a common connection with sort of being kind of the underdog in some way- not being accepted and really walking into a room where people are like I accept you.

Lacey Schwartz
For me you know I grew up my whole life with people constantly asking me why I look the way I did. So maybe I identify as being black because I want to be a part of the black community. Being black feels good for me.

Zuhairah
Cause it’s being true to yourself. I mean it’s being true to who you are – because it is such a hodge podge of people in many ways you can be Lacey from Woodstock – you know – from the parents of Peggy Schwartz- it’s like ok… and I think there is power in identifying yourself as white. I mean as making white folks accept you as part of being white.  

Lacey Schwartz
Being true to myself meant being both white and black. But when it came to my family – I kept the black part under wraps.

In my parents world… I was still a nice Jewish girl with two white Jewish parents.  

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