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‘Little White Lie’: New documentary explores biracial woman’s quest on racial identity

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It’s a story, which many might find far-fetched: A biracial black woman led to believe most of her life that she was a white Jewish woman.

However, this very thing happened to filmmaker Lacey Schwartz and she is telling her remarkable story in a documentary titled Little White Lie, which is currently making its way through the film festival circuit. Most recently, the BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia, were she was on hand to talk about the film.

In this narrative, Schwartz uses interviews with both her mom Peggy, her dad Robert and other family members and friends along with personal family video and photographs to help shape the story of her quintessential “all Jewish middle-class family” from Woodstock, NY, who for years harbored the secret that Schwartz was conceived through an affair between her mother and Rodney Parker, famed basketball scout from Brooklyn. Parker was also a close family friend.

Looking at earlier pictures of Schwartz, particularly her light brown skin, it is hard to imagine how such a secret could survive scrutiny for so long, particularly in a town like Woodstock, which racial makeup is 94 percent white and only one-percent black. In the film, Schwartz talked about the curiosity from fellow school mates about her real origins. She also recalled an incident at a function at a synagogues, where a Rabbi welcomed her as a visiting Ethiopian Jew.

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