Narrated by Ben Harper and Tariq “Black Thought” of The Roots, the 75-minuted documentary film Whitewash will be available on DVD and VOD on October 4, 2011.
In short, the film, directed by Ted Woods explores the history of rarely detailed surfing culture within the African American community, told from the POV of black surfers from Hawaii, Jamaica, Florida, and California, and includes archival footage and conversations with professors, historians, authors, and of course professional surfers.
In essence, Whitewash explores the issue of race and so-called “black consciousness” in America through the eyes and minds of black surfers.
From the press release:
Although surfing originated in Hawaii as part of Polynesian culture, Americans adopted a blonde-haired, blue-eyed male surfer cliché that still dominates the sport today. White Wash breaks all manifested barriers and explores the role of black surfers by introducing audiences to the likes of: Michael Green, Founder of Brooklyn Surfing; Rick Blocker, Black Surf Historian & Founder of BlackSurfing.com; Sal Masekela, TV Host, Sports Commentator, Actor & Singer; and Dr. Charles Ross, Author of “Outside The Lines”, just to name a few. Featured guests recount their personal journey, while discussing surf history, its origin, and its evolution, all the while preserving the love of catching that giant wave.
I first heard about the film a couple of years ago, when we first featured it. But this is the first bit of news I’ve heard of it since then. Good to know it’ll finally be available for all to see.
Here’s its trailer (full poster underneath):