Women's Activism NYC

Lacey Schwartz Delgado

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Lacey Schwartz is an American filmmaker, most notable for her 2015 PBS documentary Little White Lie. Schwartz, the daughter of Robert and Peggy Schwartz, was raised white and Jewish in the predominantly white community of Woodstock, New York. She did not check the racial identity box on her college admission form, but was admitted as a black student based on her photograph. She was not aware that she was a multi-racial American and that Rodney Parker, an African American, was her biological father. In the PBS documentary, Little White Lie, she tells the story about her unusual upbringing and how finally embracing her racial identity has brought her a modicum of peace. She had never considered her life to be "passing" but found a commonality with the people she met in the Black Student Alliance at Georgetown University. She went on to graduate from Harvard Law School, where she met her future husband Antonio Delgado. Her parents, whenever she questioned her identity growing up, had an answer that sufficed when she was still a child. The family album had pictures of her paternal ancestor, a Sicilian Jew who was of a very dark complexion. When she entered college life, the looks she got from African-American friends led her to rethink how she had viewed herself and by the time she entered her thirties and began making the film, the truth had already come out. The family secret, an affair that her mother had with an African-American, also led to the breakup of her parent's marriage when her father found out about the affair and affirmed what everyone else already knew, that she was the product of multi-racial heritage and not the white girl she had always thought that she was. She was born in the 20 years after the Supreme Court had made its ruling in the case of Loving v. Virginia, which held interracial marriage was legal and there was a spike in births of children born to parents who were black and white, the author Anna Holmes calling that cohort the "Loving Generation".

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