New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsNew Television

Video clip of Coffee Coloured Children

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Coffee Coloured Children

Alternative Title:
Coffee Colored Children

Extent:
See the records for "New Television, Episode 604 (1990)" and "New Television, Episode 102 (1991)" for descriptions of videos containing this work.

Copyright Date:
1988

Copyright Holder:
A Non-Aligned Production

Artist:
Onwurah, Ngozi A.

Background:
Broadcast as a segment of Episode 604 of the 1990 season and of Episode 102 of the 1991 season of "New Television."

Scope:
See the records for "New Television, Episode 604 (1990)" and "New Television, Episode 102 (1991)" for descriptions of videos containing this work.

"This award-winning program, produced in England, is a powerful exploration of the impact of cultural pressure on self-image. Based on the daily experience of mixed-race children, the narrator recalls the pain and confusion of her own childhood spent in an all-white neighborhood with a white mother and an absent black father." -- WGBH press release

The work opens with a video essay showing adults and children of many ethnicities interacting harmoniously to an upbeat and soulful song with a chorus about "coffee-colored people." Through narration by her and her brother and dramatization, Onwurah relays incidents from her own childhood. She recounts the brutal and racist vandalization of her apartment. In reenactments, she is seen making up her face with white makeup and scrubbing her body in the bathtub with chemical abrasives. At the close of the piece, she and her brother stand in front of a fire, burning symbolic mementos of their pain and confusion over their own physical identities. "Melting pot," she asks, "or incinerator?" The work is approximately 16 and one-half minutes long.



Director:
Onwurah, Ngozi A.

Producers:
Onwurah, Ngozi A.
Onwurah, Simon K.

Editor:
Onwurah, Ngozi A.

Performers:
Onwurah, Madge
McKay, Haley
McKay, Michael
McKay, Anette
Onwurah, Ngozi A.
Onwurah, Simon K.

Subjects:
Body image
Children of interracial marriage
Racism







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