"The happiest place in America is Boulder, Colorado."
-- said no Black person ever
Landlocked Films and Blackat Video Productions have been volunteering our time for four years to make and distribute "This is [Not] Who We Are," a documentary film exploring the gap between Boulder, Colorado’s progressive self-image and the lived experiences of its small but resilient Black community. Winner of the audience award at its Boulder International Film Festival premiere and multiple awards since then, the film has been selected and screened at dozens of film festivals on three continents. It has also been shown and discussed at over 60 community screenings in Boulder County and beyond, ranging from small audiences in individual classrooms to over 1000 people at Boulder's Chautauqua Auditorium. The film is an educational project aiming to share human experiences and catalyze honest dialogue and effective action to create racial and socioeconomic equity.
American Public Television has chosen "This Is [Not] Who We Are" for nationwide PBS distribution, courtesy of our presenting station, Rocky Mountain PBS. Our national PBS campaign will roll out to coincide with the Juneteenth holiday.
Consistent with our public service goals, funding mandates, and the simple realities of film festival economics, we have charged for none of our local screenings to date. Believe it or not, PBS does not pay independent programmers anything for airing their content, and almost all associated costs come out of our pocket. As a result, our activities to date have been funded almost entirely by the generosity of our donors and supporters.
Successful nationwide PBS distribution -- and the grassroots outreach across multiple communities to make it effective -- thus entails a new round of costs, and more fundraising.
So we are asking for your help once again. You can support us in one of two ways -- EITHER by donating on this page, OR by donating through our fiscal sponsor, the Denver Film Society. If you would your donation to be tax-deductible, please visit the donation page for our film at the Denver Film Society: https://www.denverfilm.org/who-we-are/
Or mail a check to: Denver Film Society, Sie FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80206. You must indicate that the donation is for the film, “This is [Not] Who We Are” for the donation to reach us. Thank you!
WHY DID WE MAKE THIS FILM?
While it has a unique history, Boulder is emblematic of liberal, white, university-based communities that profess an inclusive ethic but live a segregated reality. We want the film to inform policymaking and public discussions on the interconnected issues of land use, affordability, racial and class-based segregation, educational equity, and policing. By showing how each of these issues feeds into the next in a negative feedback loop that worsens Boulder’s racial climate despite our best intentions, we hope to break down the broad concepts of “white privilege” and “institutional racism” into tangible, specific aspects of our city that we actually have the power to change.
Please visit our website: https://www.thisisnotwhowearefilm.com
With your help, we can bring this film about an American city’s inclusive ideals and its disparate realities to a local and national audience!
The core film team – Beret E. Strong, Katrina Miller, and John Tweedy – are long-time Boulder County residents with a passion for our subject and a commitment to our community. We support efforts to create anti-racist communities.
This film was made possible through the generous sharing of stories by the people of Boulder County, and people who came before them and shared their stories through oral history and photographs. Thank you for being part of this broad effort to understand our community, how we came to be, and who we might be in the future. Together, we can live up to our ideals for how we want to be as a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming community for all.
Here's the story that informs "This is [Not] Who We Are":
The film explores the history of Boulder’s resilient Black community. The first Black Boulderite is said to have been a miner who arrived in the 1870s. By 1880, families were thriving and adults were listed by name and livelihood. The community grew and flourished, but in the first half of the 20th century diminished in size because of discrimination in employment, housing, healthcare, and social opportunity. The Ku Klux Klan became active, and talented young Black citizens moved away. In the 1970s, however, the city opened up in many ways, and the Black community felt more included and respected. Now, we are again contracting and driving young people away, though that is counter to the stated desires of most Boulderites.
"This is [Not] Who We Are" dives deeply into the question of what we can do to live up to our ideals of being a diverse, welcoming, inclusive community. It considers the interrelated issues of housing affordability, exclusive land use regulation, social segregation, racist behavior, and discriminatory policing. These problems are distinct, and yet they interact to create a vicious circle, a self-reinforcing feedback loop of exclusion that hampers the city’s efforts to become a welcoming and inclusive community.
For intermittent updates on the film, please subscribe: https://thisisnotwhowearefilm.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=af23d848ad5ab7d520f27b934&id=7ced8ecce2
Our heartfelt thanks to:
Our film subjects, for generously sharing their stories
Denver Film Society, for fiscal sponsorship
Community Foundation Boulder County
Boulder County Arts Commission
Boulder County Human Relations Commission
Hutchinson, Black & Cook, LLC
Hundreds of GoFundMe and other individual donors and supporters
Carnegie Library for Local History
Museum of Boulder
First Congregational Church UCC, Boulder
Second Baptist Church Boulder
NAACP Boulder County
"This is [Not] Who We Are" Advisory Committee members
Thank you for watching our film trailer, visiting our website, and helping make this film come to fruition. Here's the film's website: https://www.thisisnotwhowearefilm.com
To see Katrina Miller's work, https://www.blackatvideoproductions.com
To see Beret E. Strong and John Tweedy's work, https://www.landlockedfilms.com
Photo and oral history credits:
Photographs courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History, the Boulder Historical Society/Museum of Boulder, and the Colorado Chautauqua Association
Oral history courtesy of the Maria Rogers Oral History Collection
Drone footage courtesy of Peter Garland