LifestyleBlack History Month


New film "Who We Are" examines long history of racism in America

Loft Cinema to hold group discussion after film
Posted: 1:09 PM, Feb 25, 2022
Updated: 2022-02-25 20:53:26-05
Who We Are, A Chronicle of Racism in America
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Loft Cinema in Tucson is shining a light on racial issues raised in a new documentary called “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America”

The Loft is also planning to have a discussion about the film and how to make things better in our country along with the impact that film makers are hoping to leave with viewers.

The film is an eye-opening examination of history led by defense and civil rights attorney Jeffery Robinson. It looks at Anti-Black racism in America with a timeline that goes from slavery to modern times.

“Activists are making Americans take a look in the mirror in terms of our true history of race and racial prejudice,” Robinson said.

KGUN 9 caught up with Dr. Sherard Robbins who’s also part of the panel discussion after the film. He says it's a great way to keep conversations going about the issues that affect our society today.

"I hope folks use this as an opportunity to engage in the conversation critically to allow discourse to take place respectfully with an intellectual exchange of ideas as a way to keep the conversations going,” Robbins said.

The film is also a jarring and emotional look at the past and present when it comes to historical facts and how the messaging of the past can at times become blurred. Robinson also shares some of his own life experiences along with those affected by horrific tragedies of the past.

“The documentary is trying to capture when we think about today. Here’s where its coming from and here’s where its inception was. We can’t have a discussion today without talking about yesterday,” Robbins said.

Robinson engages in deep and thought-provoking conversations in a TedTalk style setting, while sharing stories about lynchings, the massacre in Tulsa, the history of the Civil War and the complicated relationship that Black people have with police. He also goes through a long list of other issues and sacrifices made by Black Americans. The information is blended with historical documents and video to tie the stories together.

“If you read the historians, they will tell you that modern day police departments were originally formed especially in the south in slave patrols,” Robinson said.

"That old adage says those who control the past control the present and those who control the present control the future. Which is really a testament to the reality that there’s a power structure out there,” Robbins said.

The film is set to run from now until March 3rd at theLoft Cinema in Tucson.

Shawndrea Thomas is an anchor and investigative reporter for KGUN 9. Shawndrea is living her dream as a journalist who’s passionate about making a difference. Share your story ideas and important issues with Shawndrea by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.