Lacey Schwartz is the filmmaker and star of the documentary Little White Lie which details her experience of growing up believing she was completely white and later discovering that she was biracial (black and white). I had the opportunity to see the documentary and talk with Lacey and upon later reflection there were some things that stayed with me.
One thing that stuck with me was something Lacey’s mom said “this conversation wouldn’t be so dramatic had I had an affair with a white man and not a black one.” I recounted the Ida B. Wells piece, Southern Horrors, the reason this piece stuck with me was Lacey’s mom started the affair with her biological father in the 60s. While lynching might not have been as frequent they still occurred. Within Wells’ piece she discusses how most black men were lynched under the guise of raping of white woman, but really for having relationships “their” white women. I couldn’t help but wonder afterwards how things could have played out had her mother owned up to the affair especially since she was married to a white man at the time. While they lived in the North, which was a little more progressive, I still can’t imagine that it would have been easy to admit that she had an affair with a black man.