The idea for "Colored." came from my life experiences as an African American in a White run society. Being the only African American in a lot of situations, from club soccer to study abroad, I've felt that I've had to question whether I assimilate with my surrounding or be myself as an African American and stick out. I also began thinking about the state of our society and what I'm going to do once I enter the "real world" and no longer in the comfort of a school environment. As I'm sure many young African Americans think, "How do I, as an African American, succeed and become accepted in this White run world and job market?". For me, it was thinking about Hollywood. "Do I lessen the Black in me to have my stories be accepted by studios, or do I stay true to who I am as an African American, even though African Americans are not appreciated on a wide-scale by Hollywood?"
When I came to Kiah about the idea for Colored. , she was immediately onboard because she has had similar experiences as an African American. We sat down and just talked about everything that we've experienced so far as Black people in America and how we've both tried, in different ways, to be who "society" wanted us to be.
I decided to make this film silent because I believe that actions speak much louder than words. The silence allows the audiences' thoughts to be the only voices that they hear during the film. As far as the white paint, I wanted to show a visual change in the character's skin color to represent the psychological and emotional change of trying to become "more White". When Kiah and I were putting on the paint, I thought about how painstaking it is to cover up who we are as African Americans and the lengths that we sometimes have to go just to be "accepted".
Through my experiences, I've had to learn that being who I truly am is much better than changing who I am. With this film, I hope to spread that message to other African Americans and minority groups. This is a growing problem that we have to get a handle on. To every member of a minority race who has felt like the main character in Colored., at some point in their lives, I want to say be proud of who you are and don't let society change how great you are.