Why aren't there more African-American surfers? 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 at sites in Santa Monica and Southern California.
Contemporary interviews filmed with professional and vocational surfers and scholars are woven together with historical archival film footage. Ted Woods directed the documentary. 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. Angelenos Rick Blocker, founder of Blacksurfing.com and Alison Rose Jefferson, current UC Santa Barbara Public History/American History doctoral graduate student and author of "African American Leisure Space in Santa Monica: The Beach Sometimes Know as the Inkwell, 1900s-1960s" (Southern California Quarterly, Summer 2009) are interviewed in the film.