"I'm Biracial, Not Black Damn It" - documentary
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- Trailer 4 min.
~ by Carolyn Battle Cochrane

On November 4, 2008 history was made as America overwhelmingly voted a man of color into the highest position of power in the United States; sworn into office January 20, 2009. The resounding theme of Barack Obama's campaign was; "It's Time for Change."

Over the past two years our country has become quite familiar with our new President. We've seen numerous photos, heard various recounts of his life story, we have learned about his bi-racial heritage and that he was primarily raised by his white mother and her parents. In spite of the visual documentation and excerpts from his background, journalist headlines and anchor's commentaries have not changed. They all continue to hail Obama as the first "African-American" President. This is only half true. He is equally white. Therefore, he is not an African-American rather he is bi-racial. How can a person be labeled as black when a white woman has given birth to them? Does one have a genuine understanding of the African-American experience when they have been raised mostly by white caregivers, who have not personally experienced or been subjected to black oppression? Don't these factors define the core of one's internal makings?

My personal and sometimes painful reflections as a bi-racial woman have led me, by way of this documentary, to become an ambassador of clarity about this subject for which I am most definitely qualified. I grew up identifying as a black woman because of the perception of my visual appearance. Often, I felt compelled by circumstances to disassociate or even denigrate part of myself in order to "fit in." At the writing of this document, there are yet boxes to check that do not represent all of "we, the people."

As long as our society references an individual according to "race" terminology, then we at least need to be more accurate with the references. The time has come to shatter old ideologies, amended into law, which declare that; "one drop of black blood makes you black." As our nation begins an exciting new chapter in the history books, let us not miss an opportunity to make an accurate record of this historic moment. We can begin by noting that our new Commander-in-Chief is black by identity, not birthright. Let it be duly noted that he is not the first African American but the first bi-racial President.

This current socio-political climate provides an ideal backdrop for, long over-due, conversations that fully explore the bi-racial experience; especially at a time, when uneducated accusations are being made. "But instead of seeing themselves as half-white, they prefer to see the glass as half-black", Ann Coulter in her book Guilty; as she describes Barack Obama, Halle Berry and Alicia Keys. Miss Coulter is guilty of telling half-truths about these amazing achievers; igniting controversy, which in turn garners attention, while it does sell books it doesn't begin to portray truth. It is time, right now, to set the record straight with an international cast of individuals that convey personal and provocative viewpoints about the complexities of growing up with mixed parentage.




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