By 2050, 20% of all Americans will self identify as belonging to two or more racial categories. On the surface this seems great. But it does present a few problems.
For centuries, we as a country have adhered to the “one-drop rule.” One drop of “ethnic” blood essentially makes you a member of that ethnic/racial community. Case closed. No need for debate. Until now.
What if you’re a Drake type kid who was raised by his Jewish mother? What if you’re a person who identifies equally with both side of your lineage? Why do you need to be more of one than the other?
That’s what the documentary I Am or How Jack Became Black tries to find out. Eli Steele is a filmmaker whose father is a black man and mother is Jewish. Which makes Eli multiracial and what most people would refer to as black, because it’s easier. However, life doesn’t always choose to stick to easy lines.
In the film we see what spurns Eli’s quest for answers. He’s recently had children and seeks to enroll them in school and is required to “check a box.” Eli’s children are even more racially ambiguous than he is and he doesn’t want to just choose their race. This leads to the film’s main question: Why does it matter?
You can see the trailer below and rent the movie on demand from Vimeo. It’s definitely worth the $4.