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For decades, African American comedian and filmmaker Robin Cloud had heard tales about the “Nebraska cousins,” a branch of her family that moved away from the East Coast to pass for white in the rural Midwest. In this six-part series, Cloud attempts to find and understand the motives of the relatives who left everything and everyone else behind, and documents how their progeny grapple with the revelation that they aren’t who they thought they were.
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Two years into her journey to bring the branches of her family back together, Robin reflects on what it means to be black in America and the power conferred by the assumption of whiteness.
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While in Omaha, Robin meets more of Willa Mae’s descendants, but is faced with mixed reactions from her white-identified cousins.
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As part of her search for other family members, Robin takes a trip to Omaha, Nebraska, to piece together the life of Willa Mae Watson Lane and her children.
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Robin explores the history of her family in Summerton, South Carolina, and reveals a secret to Willa Mae’s daughter, Becky Jo.
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In the heart of South Carolina’s low country, it’s time for the annual Ragin/Watson family reunion. This year, Willa Mae’s daughter, Becky Jo—who had no idea her parents was black—will meet her relatives for the first time.
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In the series premiere, Robin begins the journey of piecing together the life and history of her cousin, Willa Mae Watson Lane, who passed for white and spent most of her life living a lie.
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