"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 nearly two years to make "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. The film is an educational project aiming to share human experiences and catalyze honest dialogue and effective action to create racial and socioeconomic equity.
Please visit our website: https://www.thisisnotwhowearefilm.com
You can support us in one of two ways -- donating on this page OR by means of our fiscal sponsor.
We are a nonprofit fiscally-sponsored project, thanks to 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 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.
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.
PLEASE HELP FUND THE FILM! The film is now incurring substantial cash costs as we undertake the editing phase. Your generous donations will go toward editorial consulting, music licensing and scoring, color correction, acquisition of beautiful archival imagery, and essential outreach. We plan to share this film both locally and beyond, through film festivals, broadcast and cable outlets, on PBS, and through grassroots outreach to schools, libraries, faith-based organizations, youth groups, and others working on behalf of historical awareness, community dialogue, social justice, racial justice, and equal opportunity for all.
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.
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
Heartfelt thank you to:
Our film subjects, for generously sharing their stories
Denver Film Society, for fiscal sponsorship
Community Foundation Boulder County, for financial support
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
and all of our supporters!
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's work, www.blackatvideoproductions.com
To see Beret and John's work, 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