Too Blue To Be Black, Too Black To Be Blue

They are African-American men and women, who choose everyday to serve and protect.
But “Do the Community and Caucasian Officers accept African American officers?”
Despite that question, Black and Brown Officers have functioned and continue to function as the color paradigm shifts from a predominately white male occupation to a more blended work force. This documentary from a personal perspective will explore the history of those relationships in the land of the free.

Filmmakers Personal Inspiration:
Often thought but rarely spoken by comrades: Black police officers cannot be loyal to the “Thin Blue Line.” The African-American community expresses the same sentiments.

Filmmakers Historical Inspiration:
In the early 1800’s New Orleans had “Free Men of Color” who served as police officers known as “City Guard.” It wasn’t until approximately 1871 when African American police officers began to fully enforce all laws on all citizens. Often not respected and frequently shunned by both white officers and civilians, African American officers maintained their professional integrity and courage by serving their communities honorably and fairly.
(Executives, 1998)

Framework of Documentary:
The purpose of this documentary, as told from several perspectives including that of an African-American Officers perspective, is to explore how black law enforcement officers are perceived by their white comrades, the African-American community and non-African American community as it relates to their role in law enforcement: Is loyalty an issue when race is a factor for white officers/black community; white officer/black defendant; black officer/white community; black officer/white defendant? Victim warning or enforcement, is there a disparity?
Are African American officers accepted among their own community?

  • Mikhail A. Gershteyn
  • Marvin Stepherson
  • Mikhail A. Gershteyn
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature, Television
  • Runtime:
    58 minutes 24 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 24, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Rochester, NY Screening
    Rochester, NY
    United States
    May 5, 2016
    Local Premiere
  • Rochester, NY Screening
    Rochester, NY
    United States
    August 17, 2016
Distribution Information
  • Mad Russian Productions
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Mikhail A. Gershteyn

Born and raised into the family of the military officer in what is now former U.S.S.R. began his career in the Ukraine, where he produced feature films, documentaries, television shows and nearly 100 commercials. Since immigrating to the US, he has been working for over 16 years at WXXI Television - Rochester. Mikhail has a Bachelors degree in Communication and Broadcasting from SUNY Brockport and holds a Masters degree in World History and Archeology. Mikhail is currently producing a documentary about Soviet Union Holocaust Survivors and worked closely with Oxford professor Sir Martin Gilbert.

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Director Statement

We are very happy to find out about receiving an Awards of Recognition from Impact DOCS Awards!