Producer Lu Olkowski brings us the story of a tightly-knit family caught on opposite sides of a very big divide. If you ask Ally Manning's mom and sister, they'll tell you there's no question: they're black. But as a teenager, Ally decided that what was true for them didn't make sense for her.
Lu explains how the complex racial history of two towns in Ohio leads members of the same family to disagree strongly about whether they're black or white. And Ally, along with her mom Clarice and her sister Carlotta, wrestles with what it means to choose a different identity from her closest relations.
Ally Manning, Clarice Shreck’s daughter, takes a moment before heading work to read a poem she wrote about her mom:
Carlotta Hixon and her mom Clarice Shreck:
A version of this story, “As Black As We Wish to Be,” was sponsored by Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area and made possible with funding from the Ohio Humanities Council. It originally aired on State of the Re:Union."