Boulder, Colorado, prides itself on being beautiful, welcoming, and inclusive. However, in 2019, racially-charged and dangerous policing involving a Black university student made national news. The documentary film, This Is [Not] Who We Are, explores the gap between Boulder’s self-image and the more complex lived experiences—both historical and contemporary—of its Black citizens.
Black people have lived in Boulder continuously for nearly 150 years, but their history is not well known. Black families faced discrimination in housing, employment, education, health care, criminal justice, and social activities. By the 1920’s, Boulder had become a rallying point for the Ku Klux Klan. In the 1970s employment and housing opened up, but many problems remain. Although the particulars of Boulder’s history are unique, its social trajectory into the 21st century is nevertheless emblematic of many cities across the country that struggle to reconcile their liberal politics with the reality of their communities.
This is [Not] Who We Are braids the lived experiences of Black characters ranging in age from 12 to 78. Some stories are searing, while others are hopeful. The film seeks to open a space for dialogue among Boulderites and about cities like Boulder, overwhelmingly white, wealthy, and conflicted about issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Is a more economically and racially diverse future possible, both in Boulder and in cities like it across America?
Please join us for a special evening of film, song, poetry, and a post-screening panel discussion featuring directors Katrina Miller and Beret Strong.