Torn Between Colors

1990 | 00:22:57 | United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Crime or Violence, Race, Youth/Childhood

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Using Paper Tiger's unique style of direct address and deconstruction, teenagers from the Bronx ask questions and try to understand the persistence of racial violence in the 1990s. Black and Latino students give a sharp and insightful comparative analysis of the newspaper coverage of two events that were especially traumatic for their community: the January 1990 murder of Yusuf Hawkins by a mob of 30 whites in Bensonhurst, and the Central Park "gang rape" of a white woman by a group of black youth. This analysis, along with expert interviews, illustrates why racism still exists, why it continues to be misunderstood, and how racial violence began in the United States. Street demonstrations and interviews with students show their angry about racial violence and media coverage of their peers—often portraying them as "animals" or "wolf-packs." Youth polls suggest some solutions to the violent cycle: education, understanding, increasing of adults' awareness, and jobs instead of jails. This frank and clear discussion of emotionally-charged topics provides another example of how access to information leads to increased understanding, and of youth who care enough to contribute to the fight for harmony.