Brown v. Board of Education Re-Do

This has nothing to do with dance, but I just saw the most amazing little film at the Tribeca Film Festival. It was included in a group of short films by very young (ie: teenage) filmmakers in New York. The last one was about African American girls’ standards of beauty, questioning the extent to which they are still defining themselves by white standards. The filmmaker decided to re-perform the study used by Thurgood Marshall in the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Ed. supporting his argument for desegregation. It was so incredibly upsetting to see these African American children all point to the white doll when asked by the filmmaker which doll they would rather play with. These children were far too young to have been “acting.” The last little girl, barely four years old, after choosing the white doll as a playmate was asked which one most resembled her, and her tiny face turned so angry as she shoved the black doll at the filmmaker. That image stayed with me all night. It made me think the study should be performed on a larger scale. It was so amazing to be so struck by such a young director — Tribeca rocks!

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