"Brown Babies" Tells the Story of Bi-racial Children Born in Germany during World War II
The Washington Informer, in partnership with Wells Fargo, McMillon Communications, The Foundation for the Advancement of Music and Education Inc ( FAME), and Bowie State University Department of Fine and Performing Arts, will present "Brown Babies," a film that speaks about a little known by-product of Black soldiers in World War II.
The film screening takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21 at Bowie State University, 14000 Jericho Rd., Bowie, Md.
Former news personality Doris McMillon discovered she was one of the nearly 5,000 brown babies adopted and raised by a black American couple. Her story, specifically her own search for her biological parents, is credited with inspiring the "Brown Babies" documentary. Doris, who is featured in the film, will be part of a discussion panel after the film and will also be available to sign her memoir "Mixed Blessing," which is a must read.
Regina Griffin is the executive producer of "Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story." She is an Emmy award-winning news producer formerly of CBS News and is currently executive producer at WUSA-TV.
Regina, who is passionate about her production, will also be a part of the post film discussion panel shared the following with The Washington Informer.
Unusual Causalities of War
By Regina Griffin
Black History Month is not generally a time when we talk about war and its impact on children and families. But for just a moment, imagine scrubbing your skin raw trying to wash the brown color off, or being taken for a swim only to have a caregiver try to drown you, or being told your only options in life is to become a nun or a prostitute. These are just some of the horrifying stories told in the powerful, award-winning documentary, Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story.
Brown Babies exposes this shameful piece of history that much of the world has forgotten. The film tells the stories of the lives of biracial, bicultural children of African American GIs and German women during post World War II occupation of Germany. These ignored, unwanted and forgotten children were placed in orphanages and left to live without the love and support of their parents and their countries, Germany and the United States.
Making Brown Babies was indeed a labor of love. I poured my heart, soul and resources into this project, believing these stories to be an important part of Black history, of American history, of world history. It has been my hope that people want to learn more about the children born, not just out of post occupation Germany, but during and after any cross cultural conflict. As a journalist, as a storyteller, I wanted to tell the story.
Doris McMillon, whose story is among those featured, is an award winning journalist and CEO of McMillon Communications, Inc. For her, the message underscored in Brown Babies remains relevant even though the events occurred over 60 years ago. "Brown Babies is really a continuation of what has played out in different parts of the world where soldiers from other countries come to fight and end up in relationships with the women of the country they occupy," McMillon said. "As with any war in a foreign country, children conceived out of wedlock are often silent casualties. Their mothers can't afford to keep them and their fathers leave no financial support to take care of these children after the war has ended. I am proud to have our story told and am hopeful that the light shed will promote awareness that transcends race and time," she shared.
Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story won Best Documentary at the 2011 American Black Film Festival. It has been featured on CNN and earned the distinction of Best Film at the African-American Women in Cinema Film Festival (New York City) and was HBO Best Documentary finalist at the 2011 Martha's Vineyard Black Film Festival. Brown Babies continues to garner national and local attention.
To learn more about Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story, schedule interviews and review the schedule for upcoming screenings, visit www.brownbabiesproject.com