Conversation Doc. Short films that #TalkAboutRace

 “A Conversation About Growing Up Black”

A Conversation About Growing Up Black

Imagine strangers crossing the street to avoid you, imagine the police arbitrarily stopping you, imagine knowing people fear you because of the color of your skin. Many of this country’s young black men and boys don’t have to imagine.

In this New York Times Op-Doc video, “A Conversation about Growing Up Black,”we ask African-American boys and young men to tell us candidly about the daily challenges they face because of these realities. They speak openly about what it means to be a young black man in a racially charged world and explain how they feel when their parents try to shelter and prepare them for a world that is too often unfair and biased.

As we debate the headlines about the deaths of young black men and police misconduct, from Baltimore to Ferguson to Staten Island, we fear our society is turning away from the painful conversations that need to be had at home, in our own communities, schools and families. Focusing our attention on the nation’s latest racial hot zone often devolves into the same old invectives about race and politics, and we lose sight of the bigger picture. Worse, it allows us to avoid the painful discussions we need to have with our young people about their concerns, and the role we each may play in them. We can be a part of the solution only if we dare to open up and have the conversation.

Initially presented by The New York Times.

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  1. Edith C. Fraser
    May 11, 2015 @ 9:39 PM

    These videos are moving and reminded me of the talk I had with my children. One of my relatives was pulled over by police, with helicopter overhead because of crime in the area she and her boyfriend were in. Although they did not fit the description of the criminal, the car was searched and because she accused the police of racial profiling and harassment. She was arrested.

    I used this incident as an opportunity to have the talk with my children. I talked about what to do when you are stopped by police. I talked about the best approach in these situations. It is imperative that African American parents and parents of African American children have the talk-for your child’s safety.

  2. Graham Weatherspoon
    May 15, 2015 @ 12:27 PM

    Deeply Touched.

    Young black boys (and men), are not allowed the luxury of fully enjoying the pleasure of being a boy. Moving with a care-free mindset as a child is not their existence.

    They must be methodical and psychologically astute, in order to navigate law enforcement encounters. Encounters which are not prompted by anything more than the color of their skin.

    A black president has not changed the the script, as much as it has emboldened racial insensitivity; exemplified by the country’s leadership and their disrespect for the President himself.

    Neither boys or men, should be encumbered with this emotional and psychological trauma.
    That is unless they are black.

    The Eurocentric illness of racism has infected the entire planet.
    The patient is in denial.

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