Mourning the Creation of Racial Categories,
Part 1: The Categories Black and White
Mourning the Creation of Racial Categories, Part 1, the Categories Black and White is a feature documentary that explores how racial categories were created in the United States and the lasting consequences. The film follows sociologist Joan Ferrante's efforts to find unique ways of mourning the biological, family, romantic, and other bonds severed by the legally imposed system. Ferrante issued a call to students majoring in the creative and performing arts at Northern Kentucky University to become part of a creative team dedicated to realizing the film’s vision. The documentary, narrated by the students, gives special attention to the laws enacted between 17th century Virginia and the Jim Crow era that made the racial categories matter. It features student choreography, music, sculpture, visual art, dramatic reenactments, poetry and spoken word pieces- all created with the aim of moving audiences to take notice and mourn how Americans were divided into categories referred to as “race”.