Private Project

Finding Freedom

"Finding Freedom" is an experimental documentary short that juxtaposes freedom by “proclamation” against freedom by “declaration,” and interrogates the long-term psychological impacts of the US Emancipation Proclamation on African American activism. J LeShae offers an analysis of internalized oppression on her life and calls us to consider the ways that we've externalized power over our minds, bodies, and being to everyone but ourselves. In this self-study, J speaks from the many voices and lenses living through her blood and bones.

  • J LeShaé
  • J LeShaé
  • J LeShaé
  • J LeShaé
    Key Cast
    Natural Hair the Movie, Building the Bridge
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Other
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 22 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - J LeShaé

J LeShaé is a visionary who is obsessed with freedom. She is the Founding Executive Director of Building Opportunities & Opening Minds (BOOM), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that co-creates spaces of affirmation, decolonization, organization, and innovation with Black and Brown youth committed to liberation. She also heads Ms. J’s Classroom, a creative lab for freedom-based art + education + activism. J has exhibited art at the African American Museum of Dallas, the Goldmark Cultural Center, the Abrons Arts Center of New York, the J. Erik Jonnson Central Library, the Msanii HOUS Gallery, the Pencil on Paper Gallery, and The Black Woman is God Exhibition. This Dallas native is a proud graduate of Clark Atlanta University (HBCU), with a B.A. in History, and National University with a M.A. in Teaching. Her Introzine, Born Again: The Case for Self Study, is featured on Blurb’s Black Voices List; and her social justice teacher education framework, “Education for Justice” – covered in Slate, Education Week, and Vox – is incorporated into study at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. View J in the documentaries Natural Hair the Movie and Building the Bridge; or hear her in conversation on the Positively Gam Podcast by Adrienne Banfield Norris (Red Table Talk).

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I am a freedom activist. Art and education are my organizing methods. I investigate ancient + ancestral cultures and practice reintegration. Self-portraiture is my protest.