Outside the Box | izzit.org
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Outside the Box

Format: Streaming | Download
Length: 16:50
Grade Level: 7-12+
Closed Captioned:

Streaming: English | Italian

Don’t ask me what I am. Ask me who I am.

Imagine trying to register your child for school and being forced to reduce a complex racial ancestry to one checkbox…

Eli Steele just wants to register his son Jack for kindergarten. He has no idea the journey this will begin, or the questions it will lead to.

They have a complex family history. Son of slaves. Daughter of the revolution. Holocaust survivors. Interracial marriage pioneers in an era of segregation and discrimination.

Jack and his younger sister June have an even more complicated ancestry when you consider their mother’s heritage – a Mormon settler and Mexican immigrant.

So when Eli is required to reduce Jack to a single checkmark in front of a race box…it doesn’t sit well with him.

Explore Eli, Jack, and June’s powerful story of individuality vs. group identity.

Do you fit inside a box?

Adapted from the award-winning documentary, How Jack Became Black.

Subject Areas

Health / Physical Education

U.S. History / Government & Civics

World History / Geography





United States









This is a wonderful film.

Clark Fabert-Church

A great discussion piece. It helped generate discussions on affirmative action, race, and politics. A must have for your video library.

Royce Albert
Steilacoom, WA

This was the best video I have seen on this site! It was done very well, the main character was so honest and determined, and he went about making his point with respect and dignity for himself, his children, and his cultures. I applaud you for having this video!

Wilson Reyes
Indianapolis, IN

Excellent video on the complexities of racial identification. It corresponded well with my ERWC class on Language, Gender and Culture.

Julie Nikniai
Moreno Valley, CA

I used this video in my Sociology class as we discussed issues surrounding race and ethnicity in the US. However, I plan on showing the video in World History due to the link to WWII in Europe.

Heather Dorsey
Little Rock, AR

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