"MAE: You focused a lot on representation and narrative from the beginning. Doc on the film side. Why?

FB: My parents put a lot of effort when we were younger into talking about race and appearance and how we show up because a lot of time people would be looking at my parents. In the late 80s, early 90s people would be side-eyeing my mom, saying stuff to my dad. I would see that and not really know how to contextualize it. They realized with my sister, “oh snap!” They were gonna have to talk about this race stuff a lot sooner than they had thought, so when I showed up they already had all of these books.My favorite was Black is Brown is Tan by Arnold Adoff. My mom actually sent me the old school copy that I grew up with recently.I had a lot of stuff like that. All the Colors of the Race was another one. But I think because of that and because I worked at the summer camps and saw how much our kids were soaking up media — you know I had 4 year olds who knew how to drop it like it was hot — but they probably weren’t going to be able to access some of the worlds I had access to. You know I’ve been obsessed with quotes for like ever — so I printed a bunch out on colorful paper and put them all over my walls when I was in boarding school. I was accessing knowledge, particularly from WOC that were helping to empower me. I knew that my kids weren’t ever gonna get that. They didn’t have access to the kinds of places that would give them that kind of thinking. But what if I go into media? They have access to that. That’s not locked up in an ivory tower. So that’s how I found myself studying film."

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