After fleeing political turbulence in his native Ivory Coast, and settling in Boston thirteen years ago with his American wife and young daughter, film-maker Zadi Zokou noticed a certain indifference towards his African background and experience by several African Americans he encountered.
Zadi’s subsequent conversations and interviews with local community activists, academics, artists, and everyday people in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, as well as in Africa, revealed fascinating insights into the tensions between these communities. Even more importantly, they also uncovered a pervasive common concern to find and establish points of coherence and harmony, and revealed fascinating new perspectives on identity, culture, heritage, and history.
The result is BlacknBlack. The film isfirst and foremost a celebration of kinship between African Americans and African immigrants who share similar ethnic origins and cultural heritage. The film also poses poignant questions about tensions and misunderstandings that often plague the relationship between these two groups. BlacknBlackis about the historical context of knowing each other among these two communities, and about the ongoing process of mutual learning and self-reflection. The film makes a powerful point about the importance of considering the complex histories of African and American relationships that span several centuries and continents, coloring the interactions and mutual perceptions within the communities of African heritage.