Emmy award-winning comedian and documentarian W. Kamau Bell explores what it means to grow up mixed race in America in HBO’s new documentary, 1000% Me: Growing Up Mixed.
In the film, Bell, whose own kids with wife Melissa are mixed race, interviews kids and families about their experiences living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“As a father of three mixed daughters, directing this film was a deeply personal and profound journey of discovery,” said Bell. “I wanted to create something lyrical and playful in a way that we don’t normally associate with these conversations, but is often the way they happen in my home. My hope is in sharing the stories of these dynamic young people, it will give audiences a window into their worlds and open the door for further dialogue around race, culture and identity. We all know that this entire country needs it.”
Among the kids that Bell interviews for the film are:
– his own daughters, Sami (10) and Juno (7), who are Black and White;
– Myles (11), whose parents are Black and Filipino-American, likes to play basketball;
– Presley (10), whose parents are White and Filipino-American, has her own punk band;
– Kanani (1), whose mom is White and dad is indigenous to Costa Rica, spends her summers with her dad’s tribe;
– Anisa (11), whose parents are Black and Pakistani-British, considers being Muslim as much a part of her mix as her race;
– Mila (10), whose parents are Chinese-American and Black;
– Sumaya (7), whose parents are Guinean and Punjabi, has strong opinions about mangoes, dogs and llamas;
– Carter (13), who is Black and Latina and Bell’s god-daughter;
– Nola (13) is Black, White and Carter’s best friend. Both Carter and Nola have two moms but different birth stories.
– And Kaylin (16), whose parents are both mixed so she’s part White, Black and Korean.
1000% Me: Growing Up Mixed is produced by HBO Documentary Films in association with Get Lifted Film Co. It’s directed and executive produced by Bell, along with Geraldine L. Porras and Amy Schatz, as well as Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and John Legend for Get Lifted and Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller and Sara Rodriguez for HBO. Kelly Rafferty produces.
1000% Me: Growing up Mixed debuts Tuesday, May 2 on HBO and HBO Max.