By Reniqua Allen
In 2004, Kevin Williams, a self-defined “urban republican” who also happens to be white, became enraged when he noticed that during election season, his party always seemed to overlook his primarily black community. Tired of only hearing one party solutions for helping his neighborhood, he did like any good aspiring filmmaker would do-he grabbed his camera and started asking questions about the GOP absence in Trenton, New Jersey.
For over six years, using his own money, he, along with his co-producer wife, Tamara journeyed around the country to ask to folks like Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Michael Steele and tons of “ordinary” citizens exactly what seems so scary about being Black and Republican. UPTOWN recently caught up with the first time filmmaker about his new project.
Uptown: Why did you decide to make this film?
My wife and I, when we moved to the city, we began to get more active civically to help improve our neighborhoods, help improve the city. We kept getting more and more Democratic literature, even though my wife and I are registered Republicans. We would barely get anything from our party. It struck us a kind of funny. When I went to get door hangers for my own president [George W. Bush], I was initially refused. That just shocked the heck out of me. You don’t expect that to happen in America. You don’t expect that to happen when you’re involved politically with your own party.
When my own party is saying, well if you live in a city where this particular demographic is the majority population, we’re not going to come fight for their vote, and we’re not going to come fight for your vote too–that drove us for six and a half years.