Documentarian Discusses Race During Zoom Event


Andrew Rice, Staff Writer

“No question, if you have white skin, you have an advantage in this country,” said Frances Causey, director of the documentary “The Long Shadow.”
Dozens of Brookdale students and others met with Causey on a Zoom call Oct. 6 to discuss the film, which reflects on racism in America.
Brookdale students actively participated in a question and answer session with the social justice documentarian about how that history affects Americans today. The event was hosted by the Center of Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education.
The film talked extensively about how African Americans are being set up to fail in this country and still do not receive the support white families get. It also talks about the untold story of the slaves, as well as the history of Causey’s own family owning slaves.
“I wanted to connect, in one sitting, to as many people as possible how to reframe our nation’s history…We hear a lot about Lexington and Concord and the Tea Party, but there is an equally, or more powerful, story that has never been told,” she said.
Causey said the history taught in public schools does not do the slaves justice and does not cover how America’s racist past continues to play a role in the inequality African Americans face today. She said this is particularly true of the schools in South Carolina where she grew up, which she described as “a world where white superiority was rarely questioned.”
“We are still suffering the aftereffects of those two powerful regimes that comprised the bulk of U.S. history, slavery and Jim Crowe,” said Gerald Horne, an author on a trailer for “The Long Shadow” shown at the event.
Causey talked about the three main culprits of why racism keeps bubbling to the surface. She listed that American are either asleep to, in favor of, or ignorant about the racist reality that she believes is facing African American groups today
Causey also said America is not dealing with racism. She believes that America is choosing not to deal with the issue to the extent that it needs to be dealt with.
“Racism is swept under the rug,” Causey said. “People cannot even imagine that it exists.”
Causey said African Americans are set up to fail and pointed out that African American communities today face tremendous income inequality. “Because of this (income inequality and institutional racism) many African Americans have been denied access to the American Dream,” she said.
She said America needs to do a better job distributing wealth to the African American community.
Causey discussed what groups are doing to fix the issue at hand. She talked about the Black Lives Matter movement. She also talked about the Lemon Project, which is a journey of reconciliation, spearheaded by the college of William and Mary, that has swept across many academic institutions, especially ones that once exploited slave labor. This is an attempt to move on from these colleges’ past issues and make a level playing ground for all students as best as they can.
Causey called the audience to action. She said that good people cannot be quiet about these issues and need to have difficult conversations and have their voices heard. She stated her support of HR40, a bill that would establish a 15-member commission to study the effects of slavery and discriminatory policies on African Americans and recommend remedies.

To learn more about the change organization visit, To learn more about Causey and to watch some of videos and documentaries visit Recordings of the documentary and the question and answer session are available at