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Black Boys

Starting at $89

A Film by Sonia Lowman

95 minutes

Scene Selection • Closed Captioned

Grades 9 - Adult
Item #:BBY-2004

Select DVD License (limited PPR included)

K-12 Classrooms, Public Libraries: DVD - $89
K-12 Classrooms, Public Libraries: DVD + Digital File - $139
Community Screening, Businesses: $295
Colleges, Institutions: DVD - $345
Colleges: DVD with Digital Site License - $445
K-12 School District pricing available. Please inquire at [email protected]
Black Boys illuminates the full humanity of Black men and boys in America. An intimate, inter-generational exploration, Black Boys strives for insight to black identity and opportunity at the nexus of sports, education, and criminal justice. Speaking with an array of figures — ranging from educators, athletes, journalists, activists, parents, and youth — the documentary explores the body, mind, voice, and heart of Black boys and the double edged sword of having to build up their own self worth while knowing the world is not built for them. As various Black men and boys open themselves up to the camera, the emotional landscape of racism and its affects on them are revealed.

Historical parallels are drawn while discussing the centuries long obsession with the bodies of Black men. Also at play is the narrowing window of what attainable success looks like for Black youth as stereotyped images of professional athletes and celebrities continue to be perpetuated, while other avenues often remain overlooked.

Also examined is the systemic inequality prevalent in the American educational system. Having been proportionally denied the quality education experienced by many of their non-Black peers, the achievement gap even for Black youth becomes evident as early as kindergarten. The cycle of the school-to-prison pipeline is evident in educational environments where negative messaging about Blacks boys' worth remains frequently unchallenged.

Interspersed throughout the documentary is archival footage of police brutality, protesting, and historic lynchings to historically demonstrate the ways in which the voices of Black men have been ignored and devalued for successive generations. When speaking about ways in which to break thee various cycles, several Black men hold up the beauty of a healthy relationship with a caring adult. Though societal fear and negativity exist in reaction to their very existence, the power of love can serve as a healer for a variety of traumas.

Black Boys is a film for this historical moment and beyond. 

  • Dr. Harry Edwards, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley
  • Sharif El-Mekki, Principal, Mastery Charter School
  • Jemele Hill, Sports Journalist, The Atlantic
  • Greg Scruggs, Retired NFL Defensive End, Two-time Super Bowl Champion
  • Quan Cosby, Retried NFL Wide Receiver
  • Howard Bryant, Author and Journalist, ESPN
  • Russlyn Ali, Co-Founder and CEO, XO Institute
  • Carmelo Anthony, NBA All Star, Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Akiea Gross, Founder, Equitable Schools
  • Malcolm London, Poet and Activist
  • Dr. John King, Jr., CEO, The Education Trust, Former US Secretary of Education

FILMMAKER'S STATEMENT: "I remember when I went to South L.A. and I spoke to a group of young Black men, and I was sitting there and realized I never ever spoke to young Black men when I was growing up. It was really starting to recognize for me as a liberal and progressive as I am and enlightened and educated as I think I am, even I had to look in the mirror and say, like, 'Am I afraid of Black men?' And the answer was, honestly, yeah, a little bit.

That was something that I really wanted to unpack in Black Boys, this fear that's very pervasive, but we kind of pretend isn't there. And I think if we don't talk about that, we're not gonna break it down. And we're not gonna be able to get to the other side of that, which is love and compassion and understanding and really hearing each other. I think this country is never going to move forward unless we really start to talk honestly, and white people particularly start to take responsibility for deconditioning themselves."
— Sonia Lowman

Preview link available upon request. Contact [email protected] for more information
Black Boys
Black Boys

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