United Shades of America

Director: Jimmy Fox

Institute History

  • 2016 Sundance Film Festival


CNN’s newest original series follows political comedian W. Kamau Bell as he explores America’s racial stereotypes and lifestyles. Kamau asks questions and gets himself into some awkward and, at times, unpredictable situations, while making people laugh along the way.
The Festival is screening an episode in which he travels to Harrison, Arkansas, a charming southern town that happens to have a thriving chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. While Harrison’s leaders want to promote their home as inclusive and tolerant, the KKK are determined to use new PR tactics to keep all minorities out. Kamau questions whether this “new KKK” is really anything different.

United Shades of America offers the perfect template for Kamau to showcase his impressive insights and humor. By diving headfirst into areas that he “doesn’t understand,” he utilizes laughter to bring the most unlikely of people together. While he doesn’t shy away from asking the tough questions, he is also at times in fear of his life—all the while wondering, can’t we all just get along?

The screening will be followed by a conversation and Q&A.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details


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