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A film about intergenerational wealth from a Millennial perspective; a personal and cultural examination of the wealth gap in America. Read more

Brooklyn, NY Documentary
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$33,817
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 2, 2014.

A film about intergenerational wealth from a Millennial perspective; a personal and cultural examination of the wealth gap in America.

Brooklyn, NY Documentary
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About this project

Update: A BIG thank you to everyone in the Black Heirlooms Family- all of our backers! We have begun to work on the website and since we have gone over our goal, we are able to add classroom tools to teach students about the #wealthgap in America. We are also going to be able to add another city or two for screenings! Respond in the comments here, or go over to Facebook to let us know what cities we should add to our Black Heirlooms screening list! Everything we get over our goal will go towards screenings of the film and research/additional tools on the Black Heirlooms web portal.

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When my 86 year old grandmother (we call her 'Mee-Mah') was hospitalized after a stroke, her 8 children became irreconcilably divided over her small estate. Through the story of our family, and supporting interviews with researchers, lawyers, authors, and financial planners-- Black Heirlooms examines how we pass things on from one generation to the next and where we are going wrong. Can we ever close the wealth gap? And where does intergenerational wealth play a role? Is the value of family estates more or less important than the access that wealth can provide? This is a film about intergenerational wealth, and a personal and cultural examination of the wealth gap in America.

Our Goal: $23,600

One way we can close the ever widening wealth gap is to start having conversations about wealth much earlier. Black Heirlooms aims to spark intergenerational dialogue about family and wealth for all Americans. We plan to achieve this on two fronts- the short film and the multi-media web portal.

As with all Kickstarter campaigns- IF WE DO NOT REACH OUR GOAL, WE GET NOTHING! Please help us finish this project. (Your credit card will not be charged unless/until we meet our campaign goal at the end of month.)

In order to complete the film and website- this is what we still need:

  • Post-production (primarily Editing): $7,700
  • Proper Format and Coloring: $1,600
  • Distribution/Marketing (the website!): $10,400
  • Film Festival Entry Fees and associated costs: $2,000
  • Fees, Fees, Fees (Licensing/Music/Kickstarter): $1,900
My family
My family

The Project

Over the past three years I have been filming interviews with my family, authors like Dr. Thomas Shapiro with his influential work on the racial wealth gap in America, historians such as  James Counts Early from the Smithsonian Office of FolkLife and Cultural Heritage, and many other experts in sociology, law and financial planning. This is more than just my own family story. It is a story about what is happening to families across the U.S. and around the globe.

I have hours and hours and hours of footage! So, we have a short film that we need to polish up for film festivals, and a bunch of shorter clips that we want to host on the web. My hope is that Black Heirlooms becomes a platform for a conversation that desperately needs to happen, not just in communities of color, but in all families everywhere. The website will be a combination of videos from me (archive footage and new interviews) and videos and written stories from YOU about your own family legacy, wealth building experience, and Grandma advice!

A short film is actually not that short, it just has to be 40 minutes or less. 

During the course of the short film, the relationship between strong family ties and access to wealth develops through both the story of my family and the supporting research of industry leaders. It explores the role of younger generations in building wealth and preserving family values. The short is almost complete and will be followed by a feature length in 2015. 

Schedule:

We will complete the short film in May in time to submit it to Sundance and other film festivals around the country. The website will be developed simultaneously with a launch planned for winter 2014. 

The Experts

  • Dr. Barbara Risman, Ph.D, Author of Families As They Are
  • Deborah Willis, Ph.D, Tisch School of the Arts
  • Dwight Raiford, Raiford Roman and Associates
  • Hannah Emple, Asset Building Program at the New America
  • J. Larry Frazier Esq., "Preserving your visual legacy"
  • James Counts Early, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
  • Kwame Mumina, Attorney at Green, Johnson, Mumina
  • Dr. Kris Marsh, "Love Jones Cohort"
  • Michael Kessler, KBK Wealth
  • Dr. Melvin Oliver, Ph.D, Author of Black/White Wealth
  • Ngina Soyini Chiteji, Ph.D, "Wealth Accumulation and Communities of Color"
  • Dr. Thomas Shapiro, Ph.D, Author of Black/White Wealth
  • And so many more!

Rewards

Pledge $5 or more: Subway Token level for you New Yorkers, and real music fans everywhere! By popular demand, $5 backers will get an exclusive jingle download from Gabriel Royal. Named Brooklyn's Best Busker by The Huffington Post, Gabe's cello musings have been featured in national press, morning commutes, studio recordings, corporate advertising, and now your own iPhone or Android!

Pledge $10 or more: For your Tooth Fairy Monies we will send you EITHER (1) a print of a Black and White photo of Mee-Mah with one of her famous lines of grandma wisdom; OR (2) a small jar of Oklahoma Red Clay, as well as all the goodies of the Piggy Bank. Oklahoma Red Clay is iron rich red soil found throughout Oklahoma. It's the ground that my family's roots are from and will be sent to you in an awesome jar with a tag naming where we got it. 

 Mee-Mah's most famous sayings (#GrandmaSaid):

  • I love you sometimes
  • Be thankful all the time
  • You're all my favorite
  • Put it back where you got it from
  • Just because it looks clean doesn't mean that it is clean
  • It's better to have education and not need it than to need it and not have it
  • You be right even when the other person is being wrong
  • There's no need to stay out all night because nothing good happens after midnight
  • Eat it or leave it, but don't comeback looking for anything else
  • God hates a liar

Pledge $25 or more: Lunch Money Level backers will receive a digital download of the short film that we will be submitting to festivals AND a small jar of Oklahoma Red Clay from the filmmakers hometown, as well as everything from the Piggy Bank Level. 

Pledge $40 or more: At the Coin Collection Level you will get an original phone ring/jingle by Gabriel Royal, third generation Royal Boy, as well as a DVD of the short film that we will be submitting to festivals this May, and everything in the Piggy Bank. Gabriel, my cousin, not only appears in the film, but is known as the best busker in Brooklyn.

Pledge $80 or more: You get to be Grandma’s Favorite! Get a cool screen print T-shirt customized with a black and white photo of Mee-Mah, as well as a DVD of the short film with extra outtakes and unseen footage, AND a space on the new Black Heirlooms website to add your own story of family legacy. You will also receive everything in the Piggy Bank. (EXAMPLE OF T-SHIRT coming soon!)

Pledge $150 or more: Backers at the Rainy Day Fund Level will get a PRE-RELEASE copy of the film's Dr. Thomas Shapiro's new book. This book is being written RIGHT NOW and Kickstarter backers are being given an amazing opportunity receive a copy early! Rainy Day Fund backers will also receive everything from the Coin Collection and the Piggy Bank Levels (see above).

Pledge $250 or more : The Family Jewels - At this Level you get everything from above, including being Grandma's Favorite and the Rainy Day Fund, as well as an exclusive online Q&A with select experts from the film! So that is a phone jingle/song by Gabriel Royal, the T-shirt with black and white photo of Mee-Mah, a DVD of the short film with outtakes and unseen footage, your story featured on the new website- with photo placement on the homepage, that elusive Oklahoma Red Clay, and all the online thanks that we can shout!

Pledge $500 or more: In addition to our thanks, Silver Spoon level backers will also receive two (2) tickets to the screening and reception in NY or Oklahoma, a listing in film credits, the signed pre-release copy of Dr. Thomas Shapiro's book, invite to the online Q&A with experts from the film, a phone jingle/song by Gabriel Royal, the T-shirt of my Mee-Mah, a DVD of the short film with outtakes and unseen footage, story feature on new website, Oklahoma Red Clay, and the Piggy Bank exclusives!

Pledge $1,000 or more: At the Savings Bond Level you will host a Screening and Q&A** event wherever you want! We will help you plan the screening and interactive discussion around intergenerational wealth, as well as provide copies of the short film for your attendees (limit 50). Savings Bond Backers will also receive a listing in the credits and everything in the Grandma's Favorite Level. (**Q&A participants differ based on location and availability.)

Pledge $2,500 or more: At the Trust Fund Level you will have Advisory Board access to review the entire project! You will be able to  critique and provide feedback on early versions the film and web portal before submissions to festivals and public hosting, as well as everything from the SIlver Spoon Level!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Welcome to the Black Heirlooms Family!

Risks and challenges

The standard risk with Kickstarter films is the possibility that the film won't be made. Luckily we are quite far along in our production process and just need help to cross the finish line. The greatest challenge I see is keeping everything on schedule, particularly the delivery of the rewards in conjunction with the new website. While this is my first film and large scale web project, I have a support team here in NYC full of web and documentary experts that have poured their expertise and passion into this project! We look forward to sharing our final product will you soon!

Until now I have relied on family and friends as idea generators, cheerleaders and time keepers (thanks guys). I'm excited to have our new Kickstarter community join the Black Heirlooms network!

If you have any questions before or after pledging- please feel free to ask me through Kickstarter or Facebook. You can also reach me directly at blackheirlooms@gmail.com. Thank you thank you thank you!

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FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    61 backers

    Subway Token Level- This is for you-New Yorkers- and music fans everywhere! By popular demand, $5 backers will get an exclusive jingle download from Gabriel Royal. Named Brooklyn's Best Busker by The Huffington Post, Gabe's cello musings have been featured in national press, morning commutes, studio recordings, corporate advertising, and now your own iPhone or Android!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    101 backers

    Tooth Fairy Monies- At this level we will send you EITHER (1) a print of a black and white photo of Mee-Mah (my grandma) with one of her famous lines of grandma wisdom; OR (2) a small jar of famous Oklahoma Red Clay. Plus you will receive a badge for social media and have access to online backer exclusives, plus we will shout our thanks from the social media rooftops

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    201 backers

    Lunch Money Level - You will receive a digital download of the short film that we will be submitting to festivals AND a small jar of Oklahoma Red Clay from the filmmakers hometown, as well as a badge for social media and have access to online backer exclusives, plus we will shout our thanks from the social media rooftopsl.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    74 backers

    Coin Collection Level - At this level you will get an original phone ring/jingle by Gabriel Royal, third generation Royal Boy, as well as a DVD of the short film that we will be submitting to festivals starting in May and everything social media (you will receive a badge for social media and have access to online backer exclusives, plus we will shout our thanks from the social media rooftop).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    28 backers

    Be Grandma’s Favorite! - Get an awesome screen printed T-shirt of a black and white photo of Mee-Mah, as well as a DVD of the short film with extra outtakes and unseen footage, AND a space on the new Black Heirlooms website to add your own story of family legacy. Plus you will receive a badge for social media and have access to online backer exclusives, AND we will shout our thanks from the social media rooftops. THANKS!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    21 backers

    Rainy Day Fund - Help us finish this project and you will get a signed book collection from the film's authors as well as everything from the Coin Collection (see above)(including social media thanks---THANKS).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    4 backers

    The Family Jewels - At this level you get everything from above, including being Grandma's Favorite and the Rainy Day Fund, as well as an exclusive online Q&A with select experts from the film! So that is a phone jingle/song by Gabriel Royal, the T-shirt of my grandmother, a DVD of the short film with outtakes and unseen footage, a story feature on the new website- with photo placement on the homepage, that elusive Oklahoma Red Clay, and all the online thanks that we can shout!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    6 backers

    Silver Spoon Level - In addition to our thanks, you will receive two (2) tickets to the screening and reception in NY or Oklahoma, a listing in film credits, the signed book collection from our authors, invite to the Q&A with experts, a phone jingle/song by Gabriel Royal, the T-shirt of Mee-Mah, a DVD of the short film with outtakes and unseen footage, story feature on new website, Oklahoma Red Clay, and you will receive a badge for social media and have access to online backer exclusives, AND we will shout our thanks from the social media rooftops. THANKS!.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers

    Savings Bond Level - You will host a Screening and Q&A** event wherever you want! You will also receive copies of short film for all your attendees (limit 50), listing in the credits and everything in the Grandma's Favorite level. (**Q&A participants differ based on location and availability)

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Trust Fund Level - At this level you will have Advisory Board level access to the entire project! You will be able to critique and provide feedback on early versions of site and film before submissions to film festivals and public hosting, as well as everything from the SIlver Spoon level!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (31 days)