Friday, September 19, 2008

What Black Men Think DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Thought-Provoking DVD Discusses “What Black Men Think”

Harriet Tubman once reflected wistfully, “If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more.“ Director/narrator Janks Morton employs the same sage adage during his introduction to What Black Men Think, his thought-provoking documentary which paints an enlightening and empathetic portrait of African-American males by employing some rather surprising raw statistics to suggest that we all reconsider some commonly-held beliefs about brothers.
Merely relying on data readily available from government agencies, Morton, pointer in hand, uses graphs, charts and a chalkboard to debunk a litany of popular stereotypes like the idea that there are more black men in prison than in college, that most don’t graduate from high school and that most don’t pay child support. Not only does director Morton expose all these widely-disseminated notions as fallacious, but he suggests that, left unchallenged, they have the ability to do an incalculable amount of damage to impressionable young minds.
When not busy busting such misleading myths, he devotes his time to a series of compelling tete-a-tetes with an array of leading public intellectuals like Shelby Steele, Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, John McWhorter, Juan Williams, Steve Perry, Armstrong Williams and former Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (R-MD). All it takes is a cursory glance at the above list to notice that most are known for being conservative. So excuse me for bracing myself to hear a lot of that blaming the victim nonsense that tends to come from their lips when they’re guests of right-wing TV talk show hosts.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that in this format they have been offered an opportunity to expound fully on their hopes and aspirations for black men, rather than being restricted to addressing only hot-button issues in ten-second sound bites. Consequently, each of these elders has some worthwhile advice to share, here, as they cover timely topics ranging from the AIDS epidemic to the N-word to black-on-black crime to conspicuous consumption to academic underachievement.
In sum, What Black Men Think is highly recommended as an excellent alternative to the mainstream propaganda which would have us internalize the worst beliefs about an unfairly maligned segment of society. Guaranteed to generate quality conversation about the direction of African-Americana.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 87 minutes
Studio: iYAGO Entertainment Group

To see a trailer of What Black Men Think, visit:

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