Woke Up Black is a 60 minute documentary made in 2011 by Mary Morten. It focuses on the dreams, triumphs and struggles of five African-American youth from Chicago over a two-year period and features their experiences as they start their journey into adulthood. The main characters are Rosalee, a high-school graduate who’s the first in her family to attend college; Carter, a student athlete who was adopted by a gay couple when he was 10; Morgan, an aspiring engineer from a predominately white suburb; Ace, a self-identified genderqueer activist whose family has difficulty accepting her identity; and Sheldon, a community organizer who recently became a dad. In 2012, the film won the Black Excellence Award from the African-American Arts Alliance of Chicago.
Mary Morten is a social justice activist and filmmaker based in Chicago. She made this film with Aparna Sharma, Keisha Farmer-Smith and Marisol Ybarra. They each served as Associate Producers for the project. The inspiration to create this documentary came from a report that Dr. Cathy Cohen did for the Black Youth Project. The report examined African-American youth by exploring their attitudes, resources, and culture and analyzing how these factors influenced their decision-making and behavior.
The financing for this film came primarily from individuals via a Kickstarter campaign and with her own personal money. However, her hard work has paid off and this compelling documentary is being broadcast all across the country to standing room only crowds.
For more information about this documentary or to find a theater or event near you that may be broadcasting the documentary in its entirety, please visit their website: http://wokeupblack.com