In earlier times, African Americans did not have equal rights nor did they have equal opportunities as given to their White counterparts. Due to segregation laws, Black students weren't even allowed to enroll in the same schools as White students. Author Karin Tanabe penned the book, “The Gilded Years”; based on the life Anita Hemmings, the first African American woman to attend an All-White College. Hemmings spent almost all of her time at Vassar College hiding her true identity from her classmates. Being that she was a fair skinned Black woman, most people fell under the impression that she was indeed White. Hemmimgs’ true identity was eventually discovered due to the suspicions of her roommate and a private eye hired by her roommate's father. After the school became notified, an appeal to the university’s president was made and Hemmings was able to successfully graduate in 1897, while keeping her secret. Vassar College however, did not go on to become an integrated institution until four decades later.
To tell Hemmings’ story with a Psychological and Thrilling twist, Monica Beletsky is teaming up with both Lauren Neustadter and Academy Award winning actress Reese Witherspoon to produce a film adaptation of Hemmings’ journey, titled, “A White Lie”. Hollywood’s It-Girl, Zendaya, who has recently starred in Marvel’s “Spiderman: Homecoming” and the upcoming musical, “The Greatest Showman”, will be portraying Hemmings on the big screen. It seems like the leading lady will also be working behind the scenes as yet another one of the film’s Producers (making it her second credit as such following her Disney hit show, K.C. Undercover). The former Shake It Up star is a perfect match for this project as she is no stranger to using her voice to speak up for People of Color (especially Black girls and women).
This movie is expected to be a much needed eye opener to the oppression and mistreatment of African American women during the 1800’s and even in today’s society. The thrilling twist to the film will give off similar vibes as Jordan Peele’s captivating movie,“Get Out”, while keeping its intentions to not only educate but to entertain the audience. “A White Lie” has yet to receive a release date, however it is for certain that this anticipated film will have you submerged in both amusement and deep thought.