“You gonna be great, because Daddy says so,” are the first words you hear. It is one of single most beautiful sights I have ever witnessed. A father instilling confidence bathed in love to a child…his child. It is a moment that gave me hope, gave me chills and broke my heart all at once as most Black men are taught from a young age what their value is in our society. To play sports – despite the dangers of CTE. To be a thousand times better than your white counterparts while always having a Plan. Be aware that your size can be intimidating to others that are not YOU. Are you exhausted yet? I am and we are.
What is a Black man? For me, they are kings, princes, royalty, fathers, brothers, mentors, boyfriends, besties, strong, brave, resilient and true. However, once upon a time, Black men were once little boys longing for guidance, love and a blueprint on navigating in a world that sometimes fears, loaves, idolizes and praises their differences while the same breath criticizing and punishing for possessing those very same qualities.
Directed by Sonia Lowman, BLACK BOYS illuminates the spectrum of black humanity in America. Providing commentary from men across all disciplines share their most intimate, inter-generational exploration, insight into their own personal black identity and how opportunities in sports, education and criminal justice can often times color and navigate the trajectory of Black Boys becoming Black Men.
An activist and filmmaker, Lowman confronts her own pervasive ‘white fear’ by not shying away from the very real definition of WHY there is such a narrow, specific lens on circumvented onto this faction of society. She points fingers to how white women have contributed to the degradation of these men going all the way back to D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation rape to Emmet Till to the Central Park jogger. It’s a habitual methodology which has derailed one promising life after another solely based on assumptions associated with race and gender breaking the doc into chapters of BODY, MIND & VOICE demonstrating the many methods these men are degraded and brainwashed into believing that achieving greatness is something only achieved and limited through sports, entertainment and education.
Quan Crosby speaks on how athletes are often times not spoken of in terms of human beings playing a sport but in terms of cattle focusing on their height, weight and being twirl around like a piece of meat. These men represent a multi-billion dollar enterprise ZERO black owners of NFL teams.
Did you know that at some point it was conspired to purposely not ever have us learn to read and write for fear of uprisings. Slavery has been eliminated for decades, but the perception of black males has persisted going from the slave master to the police. While in the midst of Black Lives Matter and existing in a world where at any give moment we are sacrificial lambs in the eyes of justice that consistently proves it works for everyone but JUST US.
Do I sound angry? Good, it’s intentional and you should be angry too. You should be angry that for centuries people of color have held back, degraded, misused, abused, and disrespected. Let our generation be the ones to cease that nonsense and use this documentary BLACK BOYS as the one of blueprints to get us there. Grab all those loved ones and make it a family fair while streaming it right now via NBC Peacock. Never Whisper Justice AGAIN!