Documentary on race by Rider communications professor to premiere in Philadelphia
Dr. Sheena C. Howard, assistant professor of communication studies
A new documentary written, directed and produced by Dr. Sheena C. Howard, assistant professor of communication studies at Rider University, will have its premiere screening on Feb. 25 at The Landmark Theatre, Ritz at the Bourse, in Philadelphia, Pa.
At a time when race-related problems are exploding in communities across the country, including college campuses, Howard‘s documentary, Remixing Colorblind, offers a complex look at an ongoing conversation that has unsettled the United States since its founding.
The documentary examines how the educational system today shapes the understanding of race, and by extension, the nuances of race relations — including notions of implicit bias, individual racism, institutional racism and reverse racism.
These areas of the race problem are explored in the film through conversations with faculty, administrators, teachers, guidance counselors and young people from a wide spectrum of perspectives, including historic black colleges/universities, predominantly white institutions, inner city high schools and on-the-street interviews.
A 2015 Rider University Summer Fellowship helped Howard make the project a reality. Students, alumni and faculty also worked on the documentary. Andrew Corkery ’14, a video editor at CBS-3, shot most of the footage. He traveled with Howard to every location used in Remixing Colorblind, including Howard University, Lehigh University and Drexel University. Video Technologies Coordinator Scott Alboum, Stefan Hueneke ’15, who earned his bachelor's in radio and television, and Carlos Delcid ’16, who's majoring in digital media: film, TV and radio and minoring in journalism, also assisted with capturing moments used in the film.
Remixing Colorblind presents an exploratory journey to viewers, challenging and encouraging them to critique the ways the educational system has shaped their notions of race and influenced their relationships with “others.”
The documentary features interviews with prominent thought and opinion leaders including Dr. James Peterson, an MSNBC correspondent, and Dr. Yaba Blay, the 2012 consulting producer for CNN's Who is Black in America?
In 2014, Howard broke barriers when she became the first black female to win an Eisner Award, which is considered the Oscars of comics, for her first book, Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation (2013). She is also the author of Black Queer Identity Matrix (2014) and Critical Articulations of Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation (2014) and contributes to a number of news outlets, including the Huffington Post. Howard has appeared on radio shows such as NPR (National Public Radio) and The Washington Post, as well as on documentaries as an expert on popular culture, race, politics and sexual identity negotiation.
Remixing Colorblind is her first film. The premiere will be held on Feb. 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and include a 15-minute Q&A with Howard, moderated by Dr. Oscar Holmes IV, an assistant professor of management at Rutgers University. Tickets can be purchased in advance starting Feb. 1 at the box-office, Ritz at the Bourse, 400 Randstead St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Howard is also scheduled to appear on NPR and WBUR Boston's Here and Now on Feb. 21 to discuss Remixing Colorblind.