Focusing Black Rage (04:09)
Hear a 911 recording of George Zimmerman shooting Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. Dr. Cornel West says Americans criminalize black people to avoid confronting their history. President Obama says African-American boys are characterized as violent. (Credits)
What is Manhood? (03:32)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses language and connotations around "black." Mya B. discusses her love of black men. African-American men equate manhood to responsibility, self-respect, resilience, and remaining true to family history.
Story of Ota Benga and Scientific Racism (04:23)
A young pygmy man was transported to St. Louis for the 1904 World's Fair. Bronx Zoo director William Hornaday proposed that he was a living link between primates and humans, and put him in a cage with an orangutan. He later committed suicide.
Blacks had to be dehumanized to allow slavery within a democracy. African-American men discuss the negative stereotypes of "coons" and "Uncle Toms."
Mandingo Stereotype (03:29)
Stereotypes viewing African-American men as sexual predators or sexual animals are the most destructive. Black men discuss the assumption that they are oversexed.
Brute Stereotype and the New Jim Crow (04:08)
Viewing African-American men as sexual predators resulted in thousands of lynchings. Some white people scapegoated black men for their crimes. Young African-American men are disproportionately represented in prisons; interviewees discuss institutionalized racism.
War on Black Men (04:47)
African-American men talk about going to prison and gun violence; legal systems are set up to entrap young black men or cause their premature death. The brute stereotype perpetuates white fear and post-Civil War racism persists.
Trayvon Martin (02:43)
President Obama explains how Martin's death impacts the African-American community. Mya B. worries for the safety of her 15-year-old son Malakot Baker. Baker predicted Zimmerman's acquittal.
Mya B. discusses black manhood, homosexuality, and low slung pants with patrons of a Bronx barbershop. Few young people realize the prison connotations of having belts taken away.
Hip Hop (03:00)
Hip hop artists discuss how the music industry encourages negative stereotypes of African-Americans.
African-Americans in the Media (04:45)
In Hollywood, black males have been portrayed as dangerous or safe. Sam Greenlee made independent films showing his community in a realistic light. Dr. West discusses challenges for young black men navigating adulthood without father figures; Khalil Gibran Muhammad discusses overcoming stereotypes.
Rites of Passage (03:33)
Losing virginity often defines the transition to manhood. African-American men talk about their first sexual experiences.
Mya's Father (04:33)
Mya B.'s male relatives inspired her to admire black men. She and her brother Sunni Ali worked for their father, who owned an engineering product company. Baker does not want to discuss his father in the film.
Black Fatherhood (04:46)
African-American men discuss family relationships, parenting, absentee dads, and whether women can teach sons to be men.
Changing the Standards (03:25)
African-American men talk about learning to love and respect themselves and others in the community. Women play a key role in this transition.
Build the Bond (03:18)
Relationship coach Kenya K. Stevens says African-American men need to be planners to succeed; women must be visionaries and trust them. This will foster leadership in men, while women conserve the home. Women are lovers and men negotiators.
African-American men call for self-respect, courage, and love and compassion for all. Tom Burrell believes racial oppression can be overcome in a generation; President Obama believes progress is being made. View images of black fathers with their children.
Credits: Afraid of Dark (02:23)
Credits: Afraid of Dark
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