Tragedies like the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant and Jordan Davis -- and the public outcries that have followed each one -- are proof that that there is a sharp awareness in the black community of the unjust targeting of black males, as well as the cultural stereotypes and myths that fuel it. This year, one film will explore the fears that underlie the criticism, marginalization and seemingly systematic incarceration of black men, as well as the violence so often directed toward them.
The upcoming documentary "Afraid Of Dark" will examine racial stereotypes associated with black masculinity and the societal fears that ensue from them. The film will include interviews with rappers, actors and politicians describing their own experiences with prejudice and injustice.
The writer and director behind the male-centric feature is actually a woman, the Brooklyn-based filmmaker Mya B. Indiewire reports why she felt compelled to make the documentary in the first place:
"I wanted to analyze the damaging stereotypes of black men which has led to them being murdered and criminalized. I also wanted black men to receive their glory outside of all the bad things you hear in the media and profile the amazing black men I know and who are in our communities. More importantly I wanted people to never forget those black youth and men who never got justice in death by honoring them in the film to keep them alive in our memories."
If the film is anything like what the trailer suggests, it will likely be an important documentary for the black community; it will educate those unaware of the historical and contemporary cultural tensions and injustices surrounding black masculinity, while celebrating those who defy them.