7 Questions For Marra Gad

Marra Gad. Credit: Joanna DeGeneres.

JWA talks to author, speaker, and writer/producer Marra Gad

JWA: In your memoir, The Color of Love, you describe growing up as a biracial Jew and realizing even as a child that you were “a mixed-race, Jewish unicorn.” Can you say a bit about what that means to you? 

Marra Gad: A unicorn is a magical, rare creature…filled with sparkle! And that is how I have chosen to frame myself in a world that does not always see me as such. I think that being Black and Ashkenazi gives me the history and superpowers of both tribes and that is such a special gift. And it is my hope with each word that I write or speak that the world will come to view it in the same way. Not just for me, but in an increasingly diverse Jewish world, especially for the children who are like me. 

JWA: How has the book been received? Have you heard any reactions that surprised you? 

MG: There are days when I still can’t believe that I wrote a book…much less that it has been so well-received!  I believe that we are in our third printing and I am deeply grateful for every single reader and for all of the wonderful reviews. I’m always deeply touched by the very personal letters that people take the time to send. And I am humbled by how universal and resonant my story seems to be with people who are not necessarily like me. The Color of Love is a gift in my life that keeps giving. 

JWA: You’ve written powerfully about racism in Jewish communities. Have you seen any signs of changing attitudes in the last few years, with increased awareness of the issue? 

MG: For a brief time in 2020, and on the heels of the murder of George Floyd, I felt the tides turning in a positive way. The Jewish community was engaged in the discussion about the racism within our community and in doing the work to create a larger sense of belonging on many fronts. Sadly, in the last two years, and with antisemitism rising violently and dramatically, I have seen the conversation dwindle to a near-silence, and behaviors not only revert back to what I have experienced all my life, but devolve in many ways into things that I could not have imagined. It is heartbreaking to me. 

JWA: You’re the president of Egad! Productions (love that you worked your last name in there!), where you oversee the development and production of scripted TV series and films. Are there any topics or themes you’re especially drawn to? 

MG: Thank you for the compliment on my company name!  It’s actually named for my mother, who is Ellie. As for topics and themes that I’m drawn to, I would say that I love stories that push us to consider people and their stories outside of the narrow parameters that culture offers. Telling my own story through my memoir was exactly that, and I strive to create stories and characters that do that, too. I think that scripted television is an incredibly powerful medium because it allows us to have an on-going relationship with the characters and to be able to combine that with challenging, multi-faceted storytelling is a thrill. 

JWA: Can you tell us about any TV or film projects you have in the pipeline right now? 

MG: I’m a very superstitious girl and so I won’t comment on any projects until they are firm. But I will say that I am working on something very exciting that has been a long time coming…and I hope to have good news to share in the coming weeks!

JWA: February is Black History Month. There are different opinions about the value of designating a month for Black history in this way. What's your take?

MG: I believe that it was Morgan Freeman who said that Black history is American history and we don’t need a special month for that, nor should history be relegated to one month. And so it is with Jewish history. And LGBTQ. And Asian. And…and…and. In an ideal world, I think we would naturally celebrate cultures of all kinds on all days and not need special days or months to make that happen. But in today’s world, it does seem to help to have special months or days designed to lift up different cultures. So if that means that people are using this calendar moment to educate themselves about Black history and culture, I’m all for it. 

JWA: Even with everything you have going on, hopefully you manage to find down time. What do you like to do when you’re not working? 

MG: Prior to the pandemic, I was always someone who was running around in my down time. Often to my own exhaustion! Now, I keep it simple—which I consider to be a great gift. Spending time with the people that I love is, without a doubt, my favorite way to spend down time. Family. My close friends. A gorgeous meal—home or out. A trip to the theater. Just something simple that includes lots of laughter, love, and ease. That said, I also prize my alone time. Whether that is curled up and reading or re-watching older, favorite TV shows…alone is also a joy. 

 

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How to cite this page

Richler, Jen. "7 Questions For Marra Gad." 20 February 2024. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on April 22, 2024) <http://jwa.org/blog/7-questions-marra-gad-1>.