On top of the social injustices that reinforce a false narrative that it’s okay to dehumanize Black boys, this school year has impacted Black boys socially and emotionally in ways that the average eye can’t begin to imagine.
Black males throughout decades, from slavery, Emmett Till, the Atlanta Child Murders, Trayvon Martin, and most recently, Elijah McCain show how Black boys are dehumanized and criminalized in America. We’ve even seen Kendrick Johnson murdered in a public school in Georgia which signals to Black boys that they aren’t even safe inside of a school building.
But all hope is not lost for Black boys. Fellow activist and two-time Super Bowl champion Malcolm Jenkins has recently produced a film called “Black Boys.”
View the Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX_odQeTeEs
BLACK BOYS is a documentary film that celebrates the full humanity of Black males in America. The documentary film utilizes conversations and stories centered on education, criminal justice, and sports. It reveals the emotional landscape of Black men and Black boys experiencing racism in America. The film invites us to reimagine an America where Black boys can experience true belonging, unlimited possibilities, and to simply just live.
EdLanta is proud to utilize our platform to celebrate the experiences of Black male educators and Black boys. The film is so timely as it shines light on organizations like The Center for Black Educators Development, Profound Gentlemen, BMEsTalks and others that are calling on male educators of color to share their stories in efforts to diversify the teacher pipeline and provide Black boys with educators who not only look like them but who can the can identify with them.
The film also uplifts a powerful message that Black male educator, Dr. Marc McMillan, constantly shares with his Black boys, “We are Kings!” This phrase is an affirmation for his Black male students.
We are kings!
We don’t have to wear pants below our waist, be unable to express our emotions, continue vicious cycles and end up in prison or dead. I want our young Black kings to know that they are worthy of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. We can be mentally healthy, smart, intelligent, articulate, wealthy, possess high morals and integrity, walk in authority and purpose and be amazing fathers to our next generations.
We are KINGS!
As we digest the pride and hope received from the Black Boys film, remember the message educators like Dr. McMillan are speaking into the lives of our Black boys as we work to reverse the dehumanization of Black boys.
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.