March 4, 2012, 2:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


The SCA Alumni Screening Series and Virgil Films & Entertainment invite you and a guest to a special screening of

White Wash

Written & Directed by Ted Woods
Produced by Ted Woods, Airrion Copeland
and Dan Munger
Followed by a Q&A with the director and guests from the film.
2:00 P.M. on Sunday, March 4th, 2012

The Ray Stark Family Theatre

George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

About White Wash

White Wash explores the complexity of race in America through the eyes of the ocean via the history of African Americans and water culture from slavery, civil rights wade-ins to surfing in contemporary times. In examining the history of world water culture, and the history of black identity as it triumphs and evolves in the minds of black surfers, we learn about the power of transcending race as a constructive phenomenon. The film delves into how this subject has been interpreted and how the collective American cultural memory has included or not included these stories in the national discourse. Contemporary interviews filmed with professional and vocational surfers and scholars are woven together with historical archival film footage. Angelenos Rick Blocker, Founder of Blacksurfing.com, and Alison Rose Jefferson, a USC Master of Historic Preservation degree holder and current Public History/American History doctoral grad student are interviewed in the film. The story is narrated by Grammy Award winner Ben Harper, along with Tariq “Blackthought” Trotter of the Grammy Award winning hip hop group, The Roots who also provide the film’s musical score.

Provided courtesy of Virgil Films & Entertainment. Not rated. Running time: 78 minutes.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.


About the Guests

TED WOODS (Writer, Director, Producer)

Filmmaker Ted Woods began work on his debut documentary film, White Wash in 2006. Before moving to Los Angeles, Woods, a Chicago-area native by birth, was inspired to make White Wash in part due to his friendship with several surfers of African American heritage, and a desire to understand the complex relationship he witnessed they had with this water sport. A superior athlete as well as an emerging filmmaker, Woods played on the 2002 Patriot League Champion Football team, and works as a fitness industry professional. To continue his exploration of different cultural relationships, Woods is currently applying to graduate school to pursue advanced studies in Cultural Anthropology. He received his BA in Peace and Justice Studies from Fordham University in Bronx, New York.

RICK BLOCKER (Surfer, Founder: www.Blacksurfing.com)

At the age of twelve, Rick Blocker began surfing regularly and became the third generation of family members, to call themselves a “local” at the Santa Monica beach area sometimes known as the “Inkwell.” Son of a Black corporate executive and an acclaimed visual artist, Blocker was raised in the West Adams District of Los Angeles. He participated in the first volunteer public school busing program for racial equality in Los Angeles and while there, developed his interests in the arts, music, skateboarding and surfing.

A retired Los Angeles Unified School District teacher, husband and father, Blocker enjoys participating and contributing to the many projects that help develop alternate historical views of black surfing, both past and present. Founder of www.Blacksurfing.com, Blocker is an outspoken advocate for African American surfers who are living their dreams. He is a member of the Malibu Surfing Association, Diversity in Aquatics and the Black Surfing Association. Blocker earned a BA degree in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1976.

ALISON ROSE JEFFERSON (Public Historian, Author and USC Alumna)

The research and professional interest of Alison Rose Jefferson revolve around the intersection of historical memory, American history, Black Angeleno history, leisure and cultural tourism in Southern California during the twentieth century, great migration and Jim Crow era.

In addition to Jefferson’s participation in the White Wash film, her research has resulted in other accomplishments to publicly recognize and preserve the overlooked and rich Los Angeles County, African American history in the beach community of Santa Monica. An article she penned entitled, “African American Leisure Space in Santa Monica: The Beach Sometimes Known as the ‘Inkwell,’ 1900s-1960s” appeared in the Southern California Quarterly publication, Summer/July 2009 issue.  

She created the actual language engraved on the plaque: “The Ink Well”: A Place of Celebration and Pain, that graces a monument in the City of Santa Monica located along the bicycle and pedestrian path, Ocean Front Walk (at the end of Bay Street). The site commemorates the Jim Crow era beach site used by African Americans as a gathering place and Nick Gabaldon, the first identified surfer of African American and Mexican descent. In 2005, Phillips Chapel, a 100-year-old African American church was designated as a Landmark in the City of Santa Monica, California. Jefferson has been a featured speaker at several programs, including the Beach Culture events series at the Santa Monica Annenberg Community Beach House.

A third generation Californian and Angeleno, in 2012 Jefferson is working towards completing her third year of studies to earn a doctorate in Public History/American History at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She earned a BA from Pomona College and a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Southern California (2007).

PETER WESTWICK (Assistant Research Professor, USC, and Director of the Aerospace History Project, Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West)

Peter Westwick has taught the history of surfing at the University of California, Santa Barbara and is the co-author, with UCSB's Peter Neushul, of a forthcoming history of surfing. He is the author of two prize-winning books, Into the Black: JPL and the American Space Program, 1976-2004 (Yale University Press, 2006), and The National Labs: Science in an American System, 1947-1974 (Harvard University Press, 2003), and editor of the forthcoming Blue Sky Metropolis: The Aerospace Century in Southern California (University of California Press, 2012). Westwick received his PhD in history from University of California, Berkeley and has held fellowships at Yale and Caltech. He grew up surfing in Santa Barbara, and still lives and surfs there.

About the SCA Alumni Screening Series

The School of Cinematic Arts invites you to an exciting free screening series featuring a dynamic selection of new feature films by SCA alumni and faculty throughout the Spring 2012 semester. All screenings and events will be free of charge and open to the public, although we do ask for an electronic reservation for each screening, which can be made through the website for each individual screening. Many screenings will be overbooked to ensure that capacity is met in the theater. Some screenings will be run from digital sources.

To view the calendar for the SCA Alumni Screening Series, click here.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 1:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu