Color Of Friendship
In 1977, African American Congressman Ron V. Dellums and his family opened their home to a South African exchange student. Expecting a student of color, they were surprised when a white South African arrived, but no more so than the girl, a product of the Apartheid system of the time, who viewed black people as second-class citizens. The situation challenged them all with valuable lessons about racism and tolerance.
This is a very thoughtful, well-acted, and effective TV-movie that examines prejudice, and how getting to know one another can defeat it. Each performance is affecting, but the film’s driving force rests squarely on the shoulders of its two central figures, Piper Dellums, the young daughter of the African-American Congressman, played by Shadia Simmons, and Lindsey Haun as Mahree Bok, the white exchange student, who is at first shocked to find that her host family is black. Both girls give meaningful portrayals that question the psychological condition of parts of the world. They give honest, real characterizations of two young women with a view of life shaped by their upbringing and the culture that surrounds them. Inspired by actual events, The Color of Friendship is a hopeful story that addresses the issues of race relations and tolerance through the friendship of two earnest teenage girls.