Students Learn About Deceptions And Racial Identity During “Little White Lie” Screening



Photo by: Donald Becker
Donald Becker

Sponsored by Lewis and Clark Community College’s Diversity Council, a screening of the documentary “Little White Lie” was held Sept. 14.

“Little White Lie” illustrates how both the bonds and the lies between family members can run deep. Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion Adrienne Reed-Oliver facilitated the event.

“It is my hope that students saw this documentary and took it to heart,” Reed-Oliver said. “Deceptions are not things that go away. Lies and deceptions turn into hurts, and hurts can cause a lifetime of agony for the individual who is hiding the truth. I want the students to know that it is okay to express your feelings to whoever has offended you.”

The documentary tells the story of filmmaker Lacey Schwarts, who grew up in Woodstock, New York, with loving parents and a strong sense of identity, despite occasional remarks from those around her, who wondered how a white girl could have such dark skin.

As a child she always believed her family’s explanation, that her appearance was inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather. As a teenager, after her parents abruptly split, her gut began to tell her something else.

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Image provided by:

Schwarts’ suspicions intensified when she attends a more diverse high school, where she suddenly doesn’t quite fit in any racial profile, and her classmates are vocal about noting it. After prodding from her boyfriend, who is of mixed race, she begins to question her true identity and the validity of her parent’s story. At 18, Lacey finally confronts her mother and learns the truth about her biological father.

“Someone always gets caught in the crossfire of deceptions and lies,” Reed-Oliver said. “Oftentimes, it is someone innocent and unsuspecting. I wanted to make a point of noting that, almost exclusively in the United States, race defines, stereotypes and categorizes who individuals are, before they have a chance to show the distinct beauty that lies beneath the surface of their skin color.”

The next Diversity Council movie screening will take place when Jen Cline facilitates “Searching for Sugar Man,” at 10:50 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the Ringhausen Atrium. Free pizza and soda will be featured during the movie.

For more information about the Diversity Council, contact Peter Hussey at or (618) 468-4727.

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