What is the movie “Black Boys” about? Conversation around breed in the United States
The film opens with a shot of a black father reading to his young son. The moment is intimate.
But one day, the son will be exposed to racism that leads to educational disparities and a lack of opportunities for black boys in America.
It’s a world where black males are nearly three times more likely to die than white males in law enforcement. It’s a world where 1 in 3 black men will go through the prison system. It’s a world where the median net worth of white families is $ 171,000, while the median net worth of black families is $ 17,600.
The film “Black Boys” won the award for best overall picture as well as the award for best color film at the inaugural Fort Smith International Film Festival. It has also received numerous other awards since its release in 2020. There is a good reason for that.
“Black Boys” has aired at 14 film festivals and is now airing on NBC’s Peacock, said Sonia Lowman, the film’s director.
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Lowman first addressed the issue of segregation in schools with âTeach Us All,â which came out in 2017. It focuses on the 1957 integration of Central High School and what has come to be known as by Little Rock Nine.
With âBlack Boys,â Lowman took his work a step further, opening the conversation about the impact of education, criminal justice, and sports on black men and boys.
âIt was a way to bring those conversations together and deepen,â Lowman said.
The film explores how sport is often presented as the only way for black boys to be successful.
âWhat happens is you’re conditioned to think that all you have to offer is your body and that’s it,â Jemele Hill, sports reporter for The Atlantic, says in the film.
“Black Boys” also explains how sport is presented to black boys at the expense of their education.
Lowman said the creation of the film made her reflect on her experiences as a white woman who grew up in an almost all-white school.
“But also just the kind of homogeneous communities that we’ve created in this country where we often only reflect our own experiences and that creates a lot of fear and division and it’s very dehumanizing, and so I was kind of a reflection. about myself as a white woman having grown up never knowing black men and therefore having this kind of conditioned fear about them that I have only ever had representations of black men in the media who were like rappers and sportsmen or else as criminals, “said Lowman. “You get that kind of flattened stereotypical portrayal, really dehumanizing. And so the movie was an effort to really look at all of humanity of black men and boys.”
Chad Williamson, one of the film’s producers, said the film’s next steps are to integrate it into a platform educators can use in schools.
“I think it makes people think and rethink the way they treat each other, especially black men and boys,” Williamson said of the film.
Steve Clark of Fort Smith was also a producer on the project. Clark said he thinks the film is particularly important in light of George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement. The movie “Black Boys” gets the message across to a large audience.
âCinema is a powerful medium,â said Clark.